Archives For Apple

AppleTV Gets Jiggly With It

Dave Zatz —  March 11, 2014

appletv-jiggy

Along with the massive iOS 7.1 update, Apple TV also sees new software. And version 6.1 is significant given a rare UI enhancement that somewhat mirrors app management on Apple’s mobile devices. Highlighting a content provider, followed by holding the select button down will ultimately get the icon jiggling, at which point the play/pause button provides an option to banish the app from your home screen. While it’s a rather tedious exercise from remote, and only marginally better via the iOS Remote app, it sets the stage for better app management as Apple continues to bring on new partners … amidst rumors of a new Apple TV. For comparison, Roku hides “channels” in a “Store” that can be pinned while WDTV Play offers customizable genre screens/tabs for app management.

bby-amazon-streamer

Via a most trusted Best Buy source (now on Twitter), comes a planogram of Best Buy’s May shelf reset… featuring the inevitable Amazon streamer and a possibly new Apple TV (reporting over 100 apps, without listing an existing SKU). Amazon details are amazingly light, with only the brand name and a tick in the WiFi box. But Amazon’s set-top or stick timing does line up nicely Recode’s intel. Won’t be long now…

dlink-audio-extender1

By way of the FCC, we learn that D-Link intends to build upon their diminutive WiFi extender (DAP-1320)… with newfound home audio capabilities housed within the upcoming DCH-M225 WiFi Audio Extender. In addition to expanding one’s wireless network to perhaps the far reaches of your home, the 81 gram plug-with-benefits also incorporates an audio-out jack – similar to Apple’s Airport Express. And, while we can’t say with any certainly that D-link has licensed AirPlay, the pre-release manual suggests the Audio Extender will indeed relay AirPlay tunes from Mac or iOS device to whatever speaker you may have wired up. Just as interesting is the far more agnostic, baked-in DLNA streaming functionality. Of course, as we opined earlier today, we’re big Sonos fans and prefer our speaker and streaming hardware are one and the same.

Continue Reading…

bestbuy-mobile-giftcard

Best Buy has launched an interesting promo to proactively reach potential customers, no matter one’s smartphone predilection. Register your intent now to pick up any new phone by the end of the year, and receive a $50 gift card upon completion of that purchase. Of course, with two huge 2014 launches expected in the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, Best Buy’s fuzzy calendar and agnostic OS approach is quite clever. Not to mention, there’s really no catch — register your intent, maybe you buy from them, maybe you don’t. But should you transact, you’ll be rewarded with that gift card (plus any potential trade in valuation, if you choose the easy but less lucrative way out). As you’d expect, this dealio is limited to subsidized phones on a 2-year contract (and T-Mobile customers, such as myself, need not apply).

(Thanks Donnie!)

logmein

It’s not clear if we collectively misunderstood LogMeIn’s original outreach or if the company has backpedaled amidst negative feedback from those of us who’d purchased their $30 Ignition app. As the story goes, LogMeIn abruptly dispensed with a Freemium remote access model, However, Ignition app owners were granted a complimentary 6 months of “Pro” access for their troubles. And I’d reasonably assumed after those six months, both computer-based and mobile access would be terminated (without purchasing an annual subscription). As it turns out, LogMeIn’s most recent communique (pasted above) states,

You can continue to remotely access your computers, as you have, from your mobile device with full access to the premium functionality in your LogMeIn Ignition app, whether or not you ultimately upgrade to LogMeIn Pro.

So that’s a little bit of good news. Assuming one possesses a tablet, since pulling up a full-on desktop computer via a 4-5″ screen is reserved for emergency access only. And there’s really no telling how long our good fortune will last, given this bit of clear language from LogMeIn’s original outreach:

While your existing Ignition app will continue work as it always has, it will no longer receive updates and bug fixes.

Finding a LogMeIn Alternative

Dave Zatz —  January 22, 2014

logmein-eol

After ten years of service, LogMeIn has abruptly terminated their free tier of remote access. And my pal Janice speaks for many of us when she says, “That sound is parental tech support reps everywhere imploding at their desks.” Of course we don’t fault the company for wanting to make money and I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of the “freemium” model (and suspect its limitations are why Evernote now sells socks) – it’s the communication we take issue with.

Those who’ve purchased the $30 LogMeIn Ignition app for iOS and Android are being comped 6 months of Pro service, after which point we can move on or receive 50% off an annual two-computer plan for $49. Everyone else has 7 days after their next login to upgrade to a paid plan. As infrequent users, many of us will abstain… and are left wondering what else is out there.

As for me, Continue Reading…

qplay-family

After breaking news that TiVo’s co-founders have reunited to develope another (mini) set-top, it appears that the company rebrand has accelerated… as Invisioneer transforms into Qplay right before our eyes (and clearly without a private staging website). Our initial assumptions, based on limited site text and LinkedIn profiles, appears spot on. From Qplay’s new description:

For most people, playing [Internet video] on your tablet can be a chore and getting it to your TV is next to impossible. Qplay will harness the power of the Internet to give consumers new ways to discover, play and share video content.

While GigaOm sources indicate the company is hoping to aggregate premium content, neither Qplay’s test Twitter account nor the new imagery support that. Indeed, what one is (at launch) versus what they hope to become is not always one in the same. And whatever Qplay is doing with YouTube video (and now Vine) can likely be done better via YouTube’s native rating, sharing, playlists in conjunction with Chromecast beaming. Not to mention this space is getting crowded, between the gaming consoles, streaming incumbents, and incoming Amazon box – will Qplay offer enough, at the right price and with the stellar marketing that will be needed to make dent? Guess we’ll find out in “early 2014.”