Family games coming to Chromecast! A game changer?
Google’s Chromecast seemed a fairly innocuous seed when first planted back in July of 2013, but Google has been steadily ramping up the potential for the streaming HDMI dongle, via developer support and updates to its core software. Now, Google is announcing family-friendly games designed for Chromecast, which mark a concerted effort to turn the streamer into a console alternative for users who might’ve previously sought out a Wii for some multiplayer action that’s fun for everyone.
The new Chromecast apps announced today use your smartphone as a controller for the software running on the dongle attached to your TV, and include classics like Wheel of Fortune, as well as twists on old favourites like Monopoly Dash, Scrabble Blitz, Connect Four Quads, and Simon Swipe. The apps are all available for both iOS and Android, and work on both tablets and smartphones so that virtually anyone who happens to drop…
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Amazon wants to hang out at your place and listen to your every wish with the new “always on” cloud-connected microphone device called “Echo”.
This morning, Amazon announced a new device called Echo.
With a built-in, cloud connected, “always on” microphone, the Echo can listen for your voice “from across the room.”
You can ask it about the weather. You can tell it to set an alarm. You can ask it for information about Abraham Lincoln.
It’s a personal assistant in a tube!
But let’s be clear here on what this thing is beyond that — or what it will be.
Amazon is not in the business of telling you whether or not it will rain tomorrow.
Nor is it in the business of waking you up in the morning.
Nor is it in the business of teaching you about dead presidents.
Amazon is in the business of selling you things — and that is why Echo exists.
For now, Echo’s shopping-centric functionality is limited to helping you add things to your shopping list.
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Check out Android TV on the Nexus Player.
Google’s TV ambitions get their “take two” moment with the launch of the Nexus Player this week. Android TV powers the set-top streamer, though the software is more important than the hardware, as Google will look to get its media platform built in to the TVs and set-top boxes of other manufacturers, aping its ability to conquer the mobile market. It tried this already with Google TV, but this second foray is smarter and benefits from lessons learned from observing and participating in the evolution of the over-the-top software market.
I’m a big fan of Android TV, even in its infancy. While some reviewers cited the Nexus Player’s flaws as reasons for a mostly lukewarm response, I think the software has a lot more potential than many are giving it credit for. It’s a nascent platform that needs more third-party support to truly shine, but in the short-term…
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A recent survey by Magid for Sony’s Playstation and Crackle takes a look at streaming behavior: “Nearly all “millennials” — people aged between 18 and 34 — are streaming at home: 90 percent… 72 percent of people under 35 years old report streaming weekly, 20 points higher than last year.”
For more, see this article.
Though the app stores continue to fill up with ever more mobile applications, the reality is that most of these are not sustainable businesses. According to a new report out this morning, half (50%) of iOS developers and even more (64%) Android developers are operating below the “app poverty line” of $500 per app per month.
This detail was one of many released in VisionMobile’s latest Developer Economics report (for Q3 2014), which was based on a large-scale online developer survey and one-to-one interviews with mobile app developers. This report included the responses from over 10,000 developers from 137 countries worldwide, taking place over 5 weeks in April and May.
That mobile app developers are challenged in getting their apps discovered, downloaded and then actually used, is a well-known fact. But seeing the figures associated with exactly how tough it is out there is rather revealing. It seems the “1%”…
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This afternoon following the closing bell, Netflix announced the financial results of its second quarter, including revenue of $1.34 billion and earnings per share of $1.15. Analysts had expected Netflix to report $1.33 billion in revenue and $1.16 per share in earnings.
The company, which traded up around 1.7% during regular trading in a down market, is up around 1% after-hours following its mixed earnings report. Netflix’s year-ago second quarter in 2013 was disappointing, with top-line of $1.07 billion and earnings per share of $0.49.
In its most recent three-quarter period, Netflix saw its total subscriber base grow by 1.69 million to 50.05 million. Its domestic subscriber base grew 570,000, to 36.24 million. Its international subscriber base grew 1.12 million, to 13.8 million. The company had predicted that it would add 1.46 million new subscribers in the period, ending at an estimated total of 49.81 million. It beat that forecast.
In its sequentially preceding…
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Capitol Hill has responded to a petition for net neutrality by stating: “Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries. The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.”
As a result the FCC declared it is working on a new set of net neutrality rules: “The FCC must stand strongly behind its responsibility to oversee the public interest standard and ensure that the Internet remains open and fair,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “The Internet is and must remain the greatest engine of free expression, innovation, economic growth and opportunity the world has ever known.”
It is not expected, though, that new net neutrality rules would prohibit TelCos and CableCos from making deals with content providers like Youtube and Netflix, for prioritized bandwidth.
Read more here.