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The New Youtube TV Interface

1404826834-YouTubeAndroidMaterialDesignRedesignConcept--homeYoutube on TV has a new interface which is in line with Google’s new “Material Design” principles. It puts emphasis on personalized recommendations, user subscriptions, history and uploads. Basically it wants to make it easier for you to find something worth watching. The XboxOne will be the first device to roll out this new interface.

Techcrunch has more.

First Look At Amazon’s New Phone

The iPhone-Killer was presented yesterday and it impressed reviewers with innovative features.

Amazon put alot of thought into ways to differentiate their hardware and to offer some truly ingenious innovation. First of all, the Fire Phone has 4 cameras around the display that can track your viewing perspective to make objects on the screen accessible in a kind of 3D view. This technology also allows for navigation by tilting instead of swiping. And it should offer some interesting possibilities for App and games developers.
The second interesting invention is the “Firefly” feature which uses the camera to scan any object or surface in order to identify products, even movies, tv shows or songs. Ultimately it will link you to the Amazon Shop to buy them there, of course. Techcrunch calls it a “Shazam for everything”.
If you’re buying digital goods, make sure to use the 1000 Amazon Coins you get with your Fire Phone and save your media in the free unlimited Amazon Cloud Drive. Oh, and why not stream video and music with Amazon Prime for free for one year?

If you run into problems, just hit the “Mayday-Button” to get a customer support person on your screen.

Wired lists some of the technical specs: “It has a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 system-on-a-chip at its heart with 2GB RAM, just like other previous generation Android phones out there. It also has a 2,400 mAh battery that Amazon says should last “all day,” and a 13-megapixel main camera with optical stabilization and an F2.0 lens. Like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire Phone’s speakers offer Dolby virtual surround sound and what the company describes as tangle-free earbuds.”

While the Fire Phone basically runs on Android, it is of course Amazon’s version of Android with Amazon’s choice of Apps made available. With 240.000 Apps consumers should be fine, though. Two notable omissions are Youtube and Snapchat.

All in all, Amazon seems to have a pretty good hardware ecosystem in place to lure you away from Apple or Google, ranging from the Kindle Reader to the Kindle Fire tablet to the Fire TV to the Fire Phone.

Magine macht TV mobil

magine-logoZattoo bekommt Konkurrenz aus Schweden. Nachdem die Skandinavier mit Spotify den Standard für Musikstreamingdienste gesetzt haben, kommt nun mit Magine eine TV-Streaming App, die im Browser und auf mobilen Geräten funktioniert.

Magine wurde im Rahmen unseres Disrupt-Newsletters bereits vorgestellt und besticht durch tolles Design und Usability. Mittlerweile steht auch das Senderportfolio, es besteht aus 65 frei empfangbaren deutschen TV Sendern. Das besondere Feature von Magine ist die Rückwärtsnavigation, d.h. man kann im EPG bis zu einer Woche in die Vergangenheit navigieren und verpasste Sendungen nachholen.

Fazit: Magine ist richtig gut.

Hier entlang geht’s zum Artikel auf CHIP.de

 

FIRE!

ImageAmazon is finally launching its streaming device, dubbed “Fire TV”. And if the reviews are to be believed, Amazon may have something good on its hands.
Amazon seems to have looked closely at the competition and listened closely to the issues users of Chromecast, Apple TV or Roku were facing – and then they went and fixed those problems with Fire TV:

1. It’s fast (quad-core, Mimo dual-band wi-fi),

2. it’s easy (simple interface/search),

3. it’s open (Android ecosystem) and

4. it plays games (yay!)!

ad 1. Films and games load quickly.
ad 2. The Fire TV features voice search and offers search results across all platforms (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, Crackle…) as well as second screen functionalities.
ad 3. The Android ecosystem guarantees a huge varietey of Apps, amongst others, your Fire TV serves as a Karaoke machine.
ad 4. Several Amazon original games are in the pipe along with titles from publishers like EA and Disney. Don’t expect PS4 gaming, rather tablet games on a big screen.

Sure, it’s a little more expensive than one would have expected ($100 compared to Roku’s $50 stick or the $35 Chromecast), but the reviewer at Gizmodo was very impressed.

Watch a promo video for the Amazon Fire TV here.

Go here for more on the battle of the streaming devices (Roku vs. Chromecast).

Facebook Buys Oculus – Everybody Panic!

lawnmowermanThe tech world is abuzz because oft-maligned social network data gobbler Facebook is set on spending $2Bn on virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR. But what does it mean for all the developers who wanted to cooperate with Oculus on revolutionizing the gaming experience? What does it mean for everyone who thought the virtual reality dreams of the 80s were finally going to come true?
Techblog Gizmodo wants you to throw your worries overboard, predicting that the number of Facebook users will create a huge market for developing Apps for the Oculus Rift, leading to innovations in the field of immersive virtual reality. You can hang out with your FB-friends in a fun “holo-deck” environment.

The virtual reality platform of the future will be “A place for games, sure, but also for chat, for education, for literally anything that involves human interaction. If it seems farfetched that a goofy headset could achieve that kind of ubiquity, remember that Android and iOS didn’t exist 10 years ago; now they’re all-encompassing.”

A more pessimistic view is based on the fear (and experience) of what happens, when a small, smart, innovative company gets swallowed by a huge enterprise. Some tech people just don’t want to work with Facebook.

Go to Gizmodo for a great storystream on the topic.

 

Keys To Winning The Living Room War

This article takes a look at who’s competing for your living room entertainment budget and offers a solution for Apple TV to win the battle: A motion-sensitive remote control/game controller! Think of a bigger version of the current Apple remote control or a Wii Remote designed by Apple.
Our own experience with Streaming Devices, Smart TVs and next generation STBs have identified the input device specifically and the User Interaction in general as a weak link as well, so the line of thinking in this article makes a lot of sense. It still doesn’t solve the text input problem which may arise if users want to search for content or use a browser.

Read the whole article on Sploid.

Someone At Wired.com is not buying the Netflix Hype

netflixlogoThe author Kyle Vanhemert criticizes that Netflix doesn’t outperform your good ol’ TV set in terms of providing “lean-back” entertainment. “Netflix is great when you want to watch something, but it’s terrible when you want to watch anything.” It fails at giving users “the simple joy of channel surfing”. But what about the frustration of channel surfing for hours without finding anything worth not skipping?

Read the whole article on Wired.