UK broadcaster gets closer to offering quad-play services to customers
British pay-TV provider Sky will be moving into the mobile phone business, it has announced. The satellite broadcaster confirmed earlier reports that it would be working with the Telefonica-owned carrier O2 to have wholesale access to its 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile phone network and provide carrier functions to its subscribers, as part of a multi-year deal.
Google adds Send Money option to Gmail in United Kingdom
Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the Â£ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.
Early-stage talks could see Sky selling O2 lines to customers in quad play package
British carrier O2 has received some considerable interest in recent months, with broadcaster Sky allegedly in discussions with the mobile phone network. Reports claim Sky and O2-owner Telefonica are in early-stage talks, which could lead to a potential "strategic partnership" offering lines to customers rather than a touted acquisition similar to the one said to be under negotiation between O2 and competitor Three.
Spotify adds darker theme, Your Music, new Browse option to Windows Phone app
Spotify has updated the Windows Phone version of its music streaming app, bringing it in line with the Android and iOS apps. Using a darker theme and an updated user interface, the app now includes Your Music, allowing users to manage their favorite tracks and albums, while the Browse function is said to offer more localized and personalized content, such as playlists based on the time of day.
TV From Sky app goes live on PlayStation 4 in UK
British broadcaster Sky has added its streaming app to the PlayStation 4. Named TV From Sky instead of the usual Sky Go brand, the app provides online access to a number of live Sky television channels, as well as a wide selection of on-demand and catch-up TV shows via the console, for subscribers of the satellite television service.
Sky updates mobile app with refreshed home screen, Smart Series Link
British broadcaster Sky has updated its iOS and Android Sky+ apps to allow users to display their photographs from their mobile devices on the television through the Sky+ HD set-top box. The app also includes a new updated homepage, complete with a dedicated Sports section, and a Smart Series Link option that lets the Sky+ box record all current and future seasons of selected programs.
Offerings advance beyond sports
UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.
Sky updates electronic program guide, adds recommendations, smart season recording
British satellite television provider Sky has started to roll out software updates to its Sky+ HD set-top boxes, updating the electronic program guide. A new "recommendation engine" will make suggestions of TV shows to watch based on previously downloaded or recorded content, reports The Next Web, with other changes including a "Smart Series Link" automatically recording new seasons of TV shows, DVD cover art, and the combination of HD and SD viewing options in On Demand.
Low-cost seven-day pass for streaming service accompanied by day pass price cut
British satellite broadcaster Sky has updated the pricing for Sky Sports on its Now TV streaming device, making it a more-attractive proposition to casual viewers. A new week-long pass is being introduced from this Thursday, allowing viewers to watch for seven days in a row, while the currently-offered 24-hour streaming pass is also receiving a price cut.
Now TV streaming service app from Sky available on Xbox One in UK
Now TV, the on-demand streaming service from satellite broadcaster Sky, is now available on the Xbox One game console in the United Kingdom. Previously available on the Xbox 360, as well as a large number of streaming devices and the PlayStation 4 as of last week, Pocket-Lint reports the Now TV app on Xbox One lets users pay in advance for passes to view the Sky Sports, Entertainment, and Movies packages, without requiring a satellite subscription.
LG teases Android Wear-based G Watch device in video
LG has teased its upcoming G Watch with a new video on YouTube. Though light on detail, it provides a closer look at the design of the Android Wear smart watch, as well as highlighting its compatibility with non-LG devices, its metal body, and its waterproofing. Earlier rumors suggest the watch will be launching sometime in July, and could ship for around $300.
Piracy warning letters deal close to completion, lacks penalty for infringing
Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are close to an agreement with parts of the entertainment industry, which will attempt to fight piracy in the country. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Program (Vcap), stemming from the Digital Economy Act of 2010, will see BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky sending warning letters to customers identified as possible infringers, though it appears that, unlike the Six Strikes system used by the Center for Copyright Infromation in the US, the scheme may not penalize infringers at all.
Bug may possibly be affecting other apps
Several UK-based iOS apps -- including BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Now TV -- have suddenly stopped streaming video, the BBC reports. The issue began last night, and is still ongoing; the source of the problem is so far unknown, as is whether other apps are also being affected. The director of Now TV, Gidon Katz, indicates that the issue can be temporarily fixed in Sky and Now by rewinding iOS' clock by a day, but that triggers other problems -- including preventing access to the App Store -- and doesn't solve the flaw in iPlayer.
Game of Thrones premiere free on Xbox Video after HBO Go crashes
HBO is offering the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones free on Xbox, after its HBO Go app failed during the broadcast. The free episode will be viewable on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Video, rather than the HBO Go app until April 14th, reports Variety. HBO Go is not the only service to be affected by the influx of Game of Thrones fans, as British broadcaster Sky's Now TV suffered a similar fate during the later UK broadcast last night.
Gold version of Samsung Galaxy S5 snagged by Vodafone in UK
The golden version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be an exclusive to Vodafone in the United Kingdom. CNET reports the color option for the flagship smartphone will be available just through the carrier, though the other colors will also be available. Pre-orders for the smartphone, as with the standard colored versions, will begin on March 28th through Vodafone, with a release date set for the 11th of April.
OneDrive name to spread across SkyDrive apps in near future
Microsoft has revealed the new name for its SkyDrive cloud storage service, six months after losing a trademark dispute over the name. Rebranded as "OneDrive," Microsoft will be updating the entire service to the name with little in the way of major changes, aside from updating to the new name in apps and moving existing users to the OneDrive.com domain.
Day passes available for limited viewing
UK satellite television broadcaster Sky has announced that Apple TV users in the UK can watch Sky Sports content. The Now TV app enables users to sign up for a day pass that provides access to six Sky Sports channels, including four standard channels, the Sky Sports News channel and another dedicated to Formula One racing.
Aereo launching cloud DVR service in Baltimore on December 16
Aereo has revealed that it will be launching its cloud-based DVR service in Baltimore in time for Christmas. Residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area, including 11 central Maryland counties, will be able to sign up and subscribe to the service when it goes live on December 16th, though this will still leave Aereo considerably short of its goal of expanding to 22 US cities before the end of this year.
Remote record expanded to include on-demand programming
British broadcaster Sky has made a number of updates to its online services. The Sky+ app for iOS and Android has received some usability updates, Sky Go for Android now has a version specifically made for tablets, and its Sky Store streaming rentals service has been opened up to all of the UK, including those not subscribing to Sky's satellite TV offering.
Channel 4 on-demand video service reaches Roku, Now TV streaming devices
4oD, the on-demand video service from British broadcaster Channel 4 is now available to use on the Roku and the Now TV streaming set-top boxes in the United Kingdom. The on-demand offering from Channel 4 accompanies similar services such as the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 on the devices, as well as Sky's own Now TV prepaid Internet-based satellite television service.
Rebranding, financial terms part of European trademark settlement
Microsoft and broadcaster Sky have reached a settlement, effectively ending its trademark dispute over SkyDrive. Under the agreement, Microsoft will be permitted to continue using the SkyDrive name for its cloud storage service for a "reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand."
AT&T starts shipping 42MP Nokia Lumia 1020 to customers
AT&T has started selling the Nokia Lumia 1020 to customers. Available as a pre-order since July 16th, the Windows Phone 8 smartphone with the 41-megapixel PureView camera and Carl Zeiss lens is now shipping from the carrier's online store, and is expected to be in retail locations later today or over the weekend. The Lumia 1020 is priced at $300 when bought on a two-year contract, $659 off-contract, or $33 per month under AT&T Next.
Agreement includes three months free to LG smart device customers
LG has signed a deal with broadcaster BSkyB to add Now TV to its range of smart televisions in the United Kingdom. The agreement will bring the Sky-backed streaming service to Internet-connected LG HDTVs in August, with Now TV content being exclusive to the manufacturer's smart TV range for a minimum of 12 months.
MetroPCS uses Vine to tease Samsung Galaxy S4 launch next week
MetroPCS is hinting at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on its network next week. A teaser video, posted on Vine and shown on the MetroPCS Twitter account, shows the sum "Samsung Galaxy S III + 1 = ?," suggesting that the company will reveal the device. It is believed by Engadget that the smartphone will not have HSPA access, usable on T-Mobile, but will likely have support for its LTE network.
Compensation, possible rebranding could be ordered by judge
Microsoft has lost a trademark case in the United Kingdom over the branding of its cloud storage service. The ruling, which covers both the UK itself and the European Union, states that Microsoft infringed on British Sky Broadcasting's trademark of the Sky brand with SkyDrive, which could impact the way that the software company offers it across the continent.
Apps claimed to be compromised, Sky advises apps safe
British broadcaster Sky is the latest victim of hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army. Just as in previous attacks, one of its Twitter accounts was taken over by the hackers, but in an unusual maneuver, SEA also managed to gain access to the corporation's Android app listings, replacing the app descriptions on Google Play with "Syrian Electronic Army was here."
Mozilla updates Firefox OS simulator to 3.0, adds rotation, geolocation
Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox OS simulator, in order to help with application development. The emulator update to version 3.0, surfacing just after the first developer devices started shipping, adds a number of features, including rotation simulation, basic simulation of a geolocation API, newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia UI, Push to Device, and a number of other bug fixes. The simulator is available to download as a Firefox desktop browser extension.
Users pay $15 for 24 hours of access to sports channels
British satellite TV provider Sky has added its collection of sports channels to its pay-per-view video streaming service, Now TV. Expanding on existing offerings provided by the subscription-based Sky Go, Now TV customers can pay to view all of the Sky Sports channels unrestricted for a 24-hour period, though at a price.
Deal worth $307M leaves Telefonica to work on 4G services
BskyB is acquiring Telefonica UK's landline and home broadband services. The deal, claimed to be worth around £200 million ($307 million) will see Sky become the second largest Internet service provider in the country, thanks to the addition of an extra 500,000 customers from Telefonica's Internet services, O2 and BE.
UK Roku users able to watch Sky Movies content
Roku has added UK satellite broadcaster Sky's pay-per-view video streaming service Now TV to its devices. Users will be able to select the app from the Roku Channel Store, and will see the service expanding its range from its current availability on computers, the Xbox 360, YouView, iOS devices and a number of Android portables.
Wi-Fi connection setup possible without need for computer
Livescribe has announced the Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen, the first digital pen to integrate Wi-Fi technology and cloud services. Sky can convert written words and drawings into images, and can send both the resulting pictures and recorded audio to the user's personal Evernote account. Writing and audio can then be archived and retrieved at a later date.
Now TV to compete with Netflix, Lovefilm despite high prices
UK-based broadcaster Sky is set to launch a pay-per-view video streaming service. Now TV will offer movies and TV shows from the company's "Sky original and bought content" catalog, with options for both individual purchases and a monthly subscription. The service will be available to the general public, complementing the existing Sky Go offering already used by satellite television subscribers.
Sky Go app lets Android users watch Sky TV
Sky's Go app has now gone live for Android users (free, Android Market), letting users of some Android phones with a Sky TV subscription access 22 live TV channels from the provider. The app can only be used in the UK or Ireland and will stream content over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Users can register up to two devices and watch TV simultaneously on both.
Networks may offer taste of 3D viewing experience
British residents will soon be getting the 3D experience broadcast into their homes. The BBC has announced that it will offer limited coverage of the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London in 3D. Sky, another British content provider, has disclosed that it may show some of the auto races covered by its new Formula One channel using the technology.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica España's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
UK government working with ISPs on porn opt-in
In its latest attempts to curb online pornography, the UK government has worked with four of the country's biggest ISPs to develop an opt-in program. Under this measure, those who wish to access sexually explicit websites will have to let those ISPs know, The Guardian explained. The official announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron takes place Tuesday during the tenth meeting with the Mothers' Union.
Hits High Street retailers on July 15
HP has provided firm pricing and availability for its launch of its 9.7-inch TouchPad tablet in the UK. The price for the 16GB model is £399 ($640) and rises to £479 ($770) for the 32GB version. Both will be available online or from UK retailers on July 15.
Ofcom broadband price cuts could lead to savings
UK telecommunications industry regulator Ofcom has revised the rates that Openreach, manager of BT's network, is able to charge other providers for using its services. This wholesale price could be reduced by over 10 percent per year. Companies that use Openreach, like TalkTalk and Sky, will benefit, but it won't help those such as Virgin Media that use their own cable network.
Sky to be the first with dedicated 3D TV channel
UK-based cable provider Sky will be the first to launch a 3D TV channel with its Sky 3D in April. The first live sport event shown in 3D will be the soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester United. Only nine pubs in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin will be equipped with the hardware needed to play the 3D broadcast, however. One Sky Sports broadcast will be devoted to 3D live coverage of the event, with eight 3D camera setups.
Xbox may rival Apple TV, cable through live shows
Microsoft is hoping to gain an edge in networked media hubs by offering live sports through the Xbox 360, a leak on Monday maintains. The console's originator is reportedly in significant talks with Disney to stream ESPN's feeds of live TV shows through the system. Users would pay for a subscription and get access to many if not most events through Internet feeds.
MS Zune Movies on Xbox
Microsoft today launched a range of changes to the Xbox 360's video features. Now rebranded as a Zune service, the former Xbox Video Marketplace will now provide videos in full 1080p and promises an "instant-on" feature that starts streaming videos almost immediately on faster connections. The extension will be available in all countries and should come along with an expansion of video rentals and purchases to 18 countries from the current 8.
UK ISPs join piracy fight
The British music and film industries finally received the cooperation they have been seeking from Internet Service Providers in helping them fight illegal file downloading. A report on Thursday has six of the country's largest Internet providers sending warning letters to subscribers suspected of illegal file downloading and sharing. The decision to do so is commonly believed to be spurred by the British government, which announced earlier this year that it would impose its own laws forcing them to police how their services are used had they failed to cooperate voluntarily.
US Mobile Web Use Study
Americans browse the web on their cellphones almost twice as often as their British counterparts even without the help of web-friendly devices like the iPhone, according to a new study by M:Metrics. Despite the reputation of Europeans as more openly embracing smartphones, Americans in March were known to spend an average of four hours and 38 minutes per month on websites using their phones versus almost exactly two and a half hours for British users. The difference is largely attributed to the prevalence of flat-rate data plans in the US, which give customers either a block of data or unlimited access instead of the metering that more often exists in Europe.
PSP GoView Due in Summer
Sky's upcoming on-demand TV service (now dubbed Go!View) for Sony's PSP will be available this summer, the British TV network said today. The service lets owners of the handheld game system use the Wi-Fi connection to watch shows offered on Sky independently of the satellite connection. Viewers will have the option of either paying per view or else paying a flat-rate subscription fee for watching many more shows. Shows can be downloaded first to the PC for transfer to the PSP later.