A new FCC filing has appeared, first spotted by @AndroidTV_Rumor on Twitter, for a new streaming stick using Walmart’s Onn house brand. Walmart sells Android powered tablets and Roku powered TVs/soundbars under the Onn brand, but this appears to be their first stand-alone streaming device. The Onn streaming stick looks to be a 1080p device that will run Android 10. Read more ›
Google’s streaming platform has gained a few notable apps during the last week. An Amazon Music app is now available on multiple Android TV / Google TV devices, including the NVIDIA Shield TV and the 2020 Google Chromecast. IMDb TV and Apple TV apps have also recently arrived but, unfortunately, those apps are only available on a very limited set of devices. The new Chromecast with Google TV is compatible with both apps, but popular Android TV devices, like the Shield TV, are not compatible yet. Google did say that the Apple TV app would be coming to “more devices powered by Android TV OS in the future” so the app is not going to be exclusive to the Chromecast. There’s no word on whether IMDb TV will be available on more devices in the future.
While Amazon and Roku are neck and neck for stand-alone streaming media player dominance, the same is nowhere near true for smart TVs, where Fire TV Edition TVs lag way behind Roku, which says it was the best-selling platform for smart TVs in 2020. Meanwhile, Sony continues to be all-in with Android TV for its smart TV platform of choice and has revealed that its 2021 TVs will run the new Google TV interface which is currently only available on the Chromecast with Google TV. Read more ›
‘Tis the season for streaming services to make deals with streaming device manufacturers. Roku has announced that they’ve finally made an agreement with HBO to bring the HBO Max app to Roku devices. The app will arrive in the Roku Channel Store tomorrow, Dec 17. Similarly, Google has announced that an Apple TV app will be coming to the Chromecast with Google TV “early next year.” They also said that “more devices powered by Android TV” will be getting the app “in the future.” Now, if only Amazon would cut a deal with NBC to bring the Peacock TV app to Fire TV devices.
Google’s new 2020 Chromecast with Google TV has changed a lot about the underlying Android TV operating system that it runs on, but what hasn’t changed too much is the ability to sideload apps. Sideloading, which is the process of installing APK app files from a source other than the Google Play Store, is possible on the new Chromecast, but Google makes you jump through a few more steps than was previously necessary on Android TV. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to sideload apps using Downloader on the Chromecast with Google TV. Read more ›
For those wondering the new 2020 Google Chromecast with Google TV does support sideloading apps and my Downloader app. There was a small bug in Downloader that partially prevented file access on the Chromecast, due to privacy changes made in Android 10, but I’ve already fixed it and the updated version (v1.4.2) is already live in Google’s appstore. Read more ›
After benchmarking every Fire TV model ever released last week and posting the results, several of you asked for a similar post comparing Android TV devices. Now that the new 2020 Chromecast with Google TV has arrived, here’s a benchmark comparison of the Chromecast, two generations of Nvidia Shield TVs, the Tivo Stream 4K, and the Mi Box (for good measure) compared to every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube model. Read more ›
Google has just announced the new Chromecast (2020) with Google TV, their first true competitor to Amazon’s Fire TV line of streaming media players. Unlike past Chromecast models that required a mobile phone to use, this new Chromecast comes with a remote and runs Android TV, which has a completely redesigned interface that Google is branding as Google TV. Like past Chromecasts and the Fire TV 3, the new Chromecast is a pendant-style device that hangs off of its permanently attached HDMI cable. It supports 4K video at 60fps, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and costs $49.99. Read more ›
Televisions and streaming media players running Android TV have begun displaying sponsored ads on their home screens. The ads were spotted by Zatz Not Funny, among many others, and first reported on by XDA Developers. The ads have been seen on the NVIDIA Shield TV, Mi Box, and Sony televisions. Google has confirmed that this is a “pilot program” that they themselves are running. Unlike the Apps Spotlight row that began appearing on devices a little while ago, this new sponsored ad row cannot be turned off unless you lock the device down by creating a restricted profile.
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The JBL Link Bar, which was announced last May at Google I/O, is an interesting device that puts a full-fledged Android TV media player into a soundbar. Despite rumors of a Fall 2018 release, the company wasn’t able to release the $399.95 soundbar and optional $299.95 subwoofer before the year ended. JBL has now announced at CES 2019 that the Link Bar will be available some time this Spring. The 100-watt soundbar will double as a Google Assistant smart speaker, thanks to its far-field microphones, and house 3 HDMI ports for input switching.