Archives For Apple


Following in the footsteps of DirecTV, Comcast is the latest provider to bring voice navigation to the television:

The X1 Remote app first launched in mid-2012, giving X1 customers the ability to control the TV, navigate Xfinity On Demand choices, search for programs and tune to TV shows and movies directly from their iPhones. In addition to uniting the TV screen with customers’ mobile devices, the latest version adds the ability to issue voice commands for guide navigation and content discovery. For example, users can say “When is the next Phillies game?” or “Show me all action movies on HBO.”

Continue Reading…

We have no religious issue with porting an Apple app to Android. If it made sense for us to do that, we would do that. #

Apple CEO, Tim Cook

CW on Apple TV

Internet-delivered TV is a messy market right now, and into the fray, Apple TV has tossed a new partnership with the CW network. The CW will soon have an app on Apple TV devices that shows TV episodes the day after they air on cable. All content will be ad-supported, and no pay-TV subscription will be required.

Apple TV continues to putter along, gathering users, but not particularly breaking through the clutter of Internet-connected media streamers. The launch of a new CW app is noteworthy, however. It marks the first time Apple has offered content from a network outside of the iTunes store and sites like Netflix and Hulu.

From the CW side, the move is interesting because the network is offering cable content as a stand-alone, ad-supported offering. Even ABC is requiring authentication for streaming content, and those shows are (also) otherwise available for free over the air. The CW app is also available on the Xbox and Windows 8 devices.

Apple TV, meanwhile, may get another boost later this year with access to the HBO Go app. There are rumors that Apple and HBO are negotiating terms, though fans can already access HBO content on the Apple TV by using AirPlay to stream video from an iPad.


TiVo has just refreshed its line of Android apps, with the highlight being Jellybean (4.2) support. Unfortunately, TiVo Stream capabilities remain MIA… despite Android representing greater than 50% of US smartphones and presumably frustrated MSO partners.

The complete rundown:

  • Additional Away Mode functionality so that users can manage their Season Passes and ToDo Lists while on the go!
  • The new TiVo tablet Browse experience
  • Support for Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)
  • General Bug Fixing Continue Reading…

sad_tivoMultiple data points had indicated a TiVo Mini launch this week… yet here we are, Miniless. As to the shifting announcement, one can only guess – perhaps TiVo’s still getting the device’s technical or marketing ducks in a row. Better yet, maybe they’re taking time to reevaluate the TiVo tax. Regardless, TiVo support seems to have confirmed the situation as we understand it:

We had to delay the release. Unfortunately we have not announced when the release was rescheduled to.

So while we wait, or perhaps in lieu of an eventual TiVo Mini purchase, by using an iPhone or iPad as an intermediary, TiVo Stream owners can already move video from TiVo to a secondary television via Apple TV. Now it is a bit of a hack and, in my experimentation, I did experience some dropped frames. But for occasional usage or those on a tight budget, here’s how you’d expand the capabilities of a TiVo Stream: Continue Reading…


We’re massive fans of the TiVo Stream. While imperfect, it truly offers the best way to beam your live and recorded television around the home…. assuming you have both a TiVo Premiere of some sort and an iDevice end-point. And so it shall remain for Android owners in the foreseeable future. RCN, a TiVo MSO partner, has soft launched TiVo Stream rentals – running a reasonable $5/month (given the $130 retail price point). As a discussion side note, it was mentioned that “Android support is coming, but not anytime soon.” Of course, Android has always taken a bit of a back seat to the iPhones and iPads for TiVo – which we assume has been both something of a strategic decision and a technological concern related to Google beefing up the platform’s security (as TiVo mentioned at CES). So the TiVo app might make it’s way to Android 4.2 later this month, but it’ll be some time before my Kindle Fire HD receives TiVo Stream capabilities.

(Thanks Sam and Jason!)

Is Mailbox App Secure?

Dave Zatz —  February 16, 2013


The new Mailbox app arrived to great fanfare, with promises to revolutionize the iPhone email experience by most efficiently managing messages and maintaing Inbox zero. However, unlike a typical email app, Mailbox is something more than a client that resides on your phone. Which is both a strength and a weakness.

On one hand, it allows the company Orchestra to do a variety of clever things on their server backend – such as redelivering messages one chooses to deal with at a later date (as pictured above). However, that effectively puts a startup between you and Gmail (which is the initial service they support). Now I don’t doubt their intentions and strategy to maintain user privacy, but security is hard. Real hard. And much larger companies with security teams or departments regularly fall victim to attack and compromise. And, as security expert Brian Krebs suggests, Mailbox becomes “another potential layer for failure” by entrusting them with with our data.

I’m not certain most folks recognize Mailbox is effectively a man-in-the-middle. So consider this a PSA worth contemplation as you wait in line for access. Also a consideration for Gmail power users is the app’s inability to handle tags. As for me, my golden ticket arrived a day or so ago and, while I don’t have state secrets flowing through my Gmail and don’t effectively use tags, I’ve held off and will keep my faith solely in Google’s two-step authentication and servers. For now. What about you?


UPDATE: The TiVo 3.0 iOS app is now live.

The second screen invasion is upon us. And TiVo continues to iterate on their very fine companion app. Next up is a reformulation of content discovery. While both the TiVo Premiere and current iPad app provide curated Collections, TiVo tells me the engagement hasn’t been as significant as hoped. Yet they still see great value in providing this sort of intel to subscribers and intends to move suggestions front and center this spring. The 6 “What To Watch” columns will appear when opening the app and consist of both linear and over-the-top content, as you can see from the two included screengrabs. And, like Verizon’s “What’s Hot” app feature for those seeking inspiration, the TiVo app update presents trending live programming culled from subscribers.

From the press release:

TiVo users are immediately presented with the programming they would most enjoy without surfing channels or browsing a guide. “What to Watch Now” combines the viewer’s preferences based on viewing history and assesses live programs airing within the next 30 minutes against real-time, regional viewing trends and user-defined preferences, to offer tailored entertainment recommendations categorized by genre, in an easy to use format.

It’s probably safe to assume “What To Watch” will hit iPad and iPhone mobiles ahead of Android. But TiVo did indicate Android support will be arriving for TiVo Stream this year. And the hold up may have partially been related to effectively securing content on that platform, with TiVo now in a better place given current levels Android 4.0+ penetration.