Apple TV is in desperate need of an update. Photo: Apple
It’s been over two and a half years since Apple TV was updated, and while Apple’s been happy resting on its laurels, its biggest competitors are passing it by.
Google’s Chromecast is now more popular than Apple TV, reports Parks Associates, which says streaming media players become more popular than ever in the first three quarters of 2014, as 10 percent of U.S. households bought at least one new streaming device.
The Rickrolling meme will never die, and if Dan Petro has his way, you may soon be able to drive down your neighborhood and rickroll every TV on the block in seconds.
After finding a vulnerability in Google’s Chromecast Wifi implementation, Dan Petro built a device for less than $100 out of a Raspberry Pi, a touchscreen, wireless cards and 3D-printed pastic case. It’s name: The Rickmote Controller. It’s superpower: Takes over any Chomecast-equipped TV within Wifi range and plays Rick Astley’s legendary “Never Gonna Give You up.”
Tim Cook swears Apple TV isn’t just a hobby for the mothership anymore, but according to the latest estimates, it might be time for Apple unleashed some new non-hobby Apple TV features if it wants to catch up to Roku and Chromecast.
New data from Parks Associates reveals that while the Apple TV streaming box has been available for over seven years, Chromecast has already surged past Apple TV in 2013, making Google’s tiny stick the most popular streaming device in the U.S.
If you’re a big fan of Rdio — after Spotify, the other major streaming music subscription service, which just happens to have much better iOS apps — and you also have a Google Chromecast, good news: Rdio for iOS now supports Google’s streaming HDTV dongle.
Today Google released Photowall, an iOS and Android app that beams photos through a Chromecast to be displayed on a TV. Photos can be doodled on and rearranged in a grid interface that updates as new photos are added.
Photowall works with the Chrome browser by providing a URL that anyone on the same network can access in Chrome to add their own photos and make edits. Once all photos are uploaded, a video can be made and published on YouTube.
Google put together a quick video to show how Photowall works:
Google has finally released its official iOS app for the Movies & TV section of its Play Store. The universal app is available for free in the App Store, but it comes with several severe limitations.
First off, you can’t buy content through the app due to Google not wanting to give Apple a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases. Another con is the lack of offline playback, meaning you can’t cache a video to watch later when Wi-Fi isn’t available. And for some odd reason, video only plays back in standard def on the iPhone.
The app is pretty barebones, but it is nice for the Chromecast, Google’s little streaming dongle that plugs into the TV. Chromecast users with iOS hardware have previously been limited to Netflix and Hulu Plus, but Google Play offers more recent movie and TV selections.
Google has today announced that an additional ten applications for Android and iOS now support Chromecast streaming. VEVO, Red Bull.TV, Songza, and more have been updated to allow users to enjoy news, sports, and music on their $35 dongle.
While Android may be running away with the lion’s share of the smartphone market, there’s still no doubt about what rules the roost when it comes to tablets. New data from InfoScout reveals that roughly 40% of iPads sold on Black Friday were purchased by Android smartphone users.
The Apple TV and Google Chromecast are pretty cool, but I know I’m not the only one who wishes I could stream whatever media I want to whatever device I want, without worrying about proprietary standards.
Until we get a universal API, we have AllCast for Android, an app that can stream content to an Apple TV, a Roku, an Xbox, a Samsung Smart TV, and so on. You name it, and AllCast supports it… except, perplexingly, for ChromeCast.