HBO shows now available for purchase on Google Play, HBO GO no longer needed

Well lookee here.

hbo go google play renting buying tv

If you’re one of those folks who isn’t ponying up the cash for HBO to enjoy their shows on mobile and streaming services like HBO GO, you now have a new option. Announced on the Google Play Twitter account, you can now purchase HBO content on Google Play for your Android and Chromecast streaming enjoyment.

 

The pricing seems to be competitive with what you would spend on shiny plastic discs, though it does look like there will still be a time delay between when a show is released on disc and on Play. For example, Game of Thrones only goes up to Season 2.

Still, if streaming is your bag, and you want to catch up on what all the buzz is about, you can now get your Android devices into the mix. Now if only we could talk about a standalone subscription option for HBO GO which doesn’t require me to change my cable plan…

HBO shows on Google Play

Nielsen, Twitter, and making sense of changing metrics

nielsenThis is where established companies stumble. Adaptation.

We can all agree that Nielsen’s model of ranking television is woefully dated. This antiquated notion of sampling individual families and asking them to log what they watch and when they watch it. All of this fantastic technology, you’d think by now there would be a way for users to opt-in to a piece of software which can be run as an app on a DVR or TIVO. Alas, we still don’t have that, but Nielsen is trying to take some steps to track the popularity of content moving forward.

Their preferred platform to watch? Twitter.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad idea. Twitter has shown a terrific aptitude for being culturally relevant down to the instant news might hit the internet. Those momentary and temporary interactions are great for surveying a general sense of a trend, but the biggest issuetwitter logo in social media metrics is tracking actual engagement. Often when using Twitter as benchmark we can only confidently talk about “potential impressions”. I have a couple thousand followers on Twitter, so when I tweet, there’s the POTENTIAL for a couple thousand people to encounter my message. There is, however, no concrete way to determine how many of my followers stopped to actually read my tweet.

Which is why Nielsen’s announcement is so perplexing to me. My DVR knows what I watch and when I watch it, even when I’m watching live TV. It knows how long I watched a show, exactly when I turned it off, if I returned to finish a show, and whether I wanted to keep it stored on my drive. It also is able to serve me recommendations based on what I’ve watched in the past. If we’re looking for relevance, for actual metrics on TV viewing, this to me would be a more appropriate first line to partner up with.

Neilsen’s notion that they can derive viewership based on authored tweets, and extrapolate that out to people who aren’t tweeting but still watching TV seems even less accurate than their current method of tracking viewership.

I get it. Twitter is hip right now. But the other issue is one of institution. Neilsen still looks like it’s operating with the notion that once a system is constructed that operating within that structure will provide meaningful results. The way communication is generated online evolves on a daily basis, and each individual network has it’s own etiquette which also adapts to changing trends. Whats vogue today might not be tomorrow, and viewership probably changes by platform. Meaning, you’ll be likely to see some subtle yet unique trends in viewership moving from Twitter to Facebook to  Google Plus to Reddit, etc.

Combining that data with location becomes vital, not only the physical presence of where a person was when watching, but whether it came from terrestrial “air”, cable, or some web portal like Hulu or Netflix. Decisions are made every day on renewing or cancelling shows based on data generated by services like Nielsen, but I’m not sure their new strategy here is really going to make them more relevant…

In light of their upcoming IPO though, this is fantastic news for Twitter.

(via Deadline)

Read Nielsen’s full statement after the jump. Continue reading “Nielsen, Twitter, and making sense of changing metrics”

Review: HMDX Jam Classic portable wireless Bluetooth speaker

hmdx jam classic bluetooth wireless speaker test review somegadgetguyYou asked for it! I’m covering even more audio gear!

Following the recent wrap up on the Jawbone JAMBOX, we’re taking a look at something smaller, and a little more affordable. It’s tiny. It’s cute. It comes in an adorable jam jar container, and for its size it packs a surprising audio punch. Can a portable audio solution for $32 compete against some of the other “premier” solutions on the market?

Let’s take a listen to the HMDX Jam Classic!

Shop HMDX on Amazon. What’s with all these speakers being named “Jam-something”?

Verizon employee leaks image of HTC One Max

android central htc one maxA friend of a Verizon employee posted this pic of the up coming HTC One Max in the Android Central forums. According to Jeremy, his mysterious pal has confirmed the One Max will have a finger print scanner and a removable back plate. Looks to be some decent competition for the Galaxy Note 3, especially with BoomSound in tow.

What I’m really happy to see, is this doesn’t appear to be a Droid. The last larger screened phone HTC released was a carrier exclusive to VZW in the USA, dubbed the Droid DNA. This image shows us a phone which very much follows the design language of the One and One Mini, meaning HTC is moving towards the same kind of device branding that Samsung and Apple have already figured out. Consumers will no longer be confused by seeing One’s on one carrier and Evos/Droids on another.

Of course, Verizon did still have to slap their weird checkmark logo right on the face of this otherwise beautiful phone. Right where the HTC logo would’ve been too. Kind of a slap in the face. Here’s to change?

(via Android Central)

Google Sneaking Chrome OS onto Windows 8 Computers?

chrome os running on a windows 8 touchscreen hybrid laptop somegadgetguy

So all the hemming and hawing from the Chromebook faithful, that Chrome OS was SO much more than JUST a fancy browser slapped onto low power laptop hardware. It would seem like that’s not entirely true… In a good way…

The newest dev channel update of the Chrome browser for Windows 8 appears to essentially be the entire Chrome OS. When used within the ModernUI interface users have full access to the entire suite. Microsoft opened the door for this by allowing browsers other than IE to interface with the “Metro” ecosystem. Now you can have all the benefits of Google’s cloud OS on your Windows 8 machines. Loading it onto my hybrid also opens up some interesting possibilities. We haven’t seen Chrome OS on a proper slate tablet yet. That’s been Android territory, yet swiveling my Lenovo Twist into slate mode affords me a perfectly usable Chrome OS experience using a combination of Google’s UI and Microsoft’s virtual touch controls and keyboard. It’s kind of meta…

An app launcher at the bottom left gives you access to Chrome app, and Google favorites GMail, Search, Docs, and Youtube are docked at the bottom too. Performance has been solid for me after a couple hours of tooling around, but many are complaining of occasional crashes. Also, if you’re not running a lot of RAM, Windows 8 is very aggressive about shutting down Metro apps if you’re doing a lot of multi-tasking. In all though the experience has been very enjoyable, and updates to browser touch support make Chrome OS on Win8 almost as smooth as Microsoft’s native offerings.

It’s a pretty twisted end run around the traditional PC market. Now legit Chromebooks will face more competition from traditional PC’s in offering up the same OS, but still giving users access to legacy Windows software. This takes any potential risk out of using Chrome OS. Thinking generationally, a user could pick up a Windows Hybrid today, load up this new Chrome Browser, spend all their time in Chrome OS, and by the time they’re ready to shop another system, decide to walk away from Microsoft’s offerings altogether…

As a side note, now would be the time for Google to start unifying their app base. Bringing the variety of Android Apps to Chrome’s ability to handle things like documents and office software could put a serious hurt on Microsoft while they’re trying to unify their UI across all screen sizes.

Plus, Microsoft would have to compete for people’s attention on computers people already purchased. Wow.

AT&T drops price of Lumia 920 to 99 cents on two year contract

nokia lumia 920 on sale 99 cents att somegadgetguyOk. Here’s the scoop. The Nokia Lumia 925 might be newer, slimmer, and sexier. The 925 also has more current software as we’re still waiting out AT&T to offer an update for the 920. Even with all those points against it, I still happen to prefer the chunkier 920 over the svelte 925. The rounded the contours, I like a little meat on her bones you know? Plus that girth comes with twice the on board storage of the 925 and the ability to charge wirelessly without an additional sled accessory. It’s all built in.

With the release of the Lumia 1020 and the 1520 right around the corner, the 9xx series phones are now certainly mid-range devices, but pricing is starting to fall into entry-level territory. Picking up a Lumia 920 on a two year contract will now only cost you 99 cents up front. That’s not bad at all for my second favorite camera ever built into a smartphone.  If you’re shopping an entry level phone, the experience on Windows Phone often crushes similarly priced Android fare, and the cameras on Nokia phones are always second to none.

(via AT&T)

LG launching G Pad 8.3 tablet in South Korea on Oct 14, expanding to 30 more countries by years end

lg g pad 8_3 tablet android south koreaSmaller tablets are hot right now. LG is making a move on the smaller than 10″ tablet segment with the new G Pad 8.3. Teased before this year’s IFA, the G Pad is continuing in the footsteps of the G2 launch. LG is looking to shake up their design language, and they’re turning to their users to help influence the future of LG products.

The G Pad 8.3 will be one of the slimmest and lightest small tablets to enter this arena. Noting that ten inch screens are often left at home, LG is banking on a more portable design. The specs are mid-high end for this segment as well. An 8.3″ 1080p display will be powered by a Qualcomm 600 series quad-core and 2GB of RAM. 16GB of storage on board can be upgraded via MicroSD cards. Ultra-slim bezels should help one-handed operation, and a decently sized battery should afford all day run time.

All in all a nice little competitor to the current popular iPad Minis and Kindle Fires. G Pad 8.3 drops on October 13 in South Korea for 550,000 won (about $514 US dollars), and LG will push it out to 30 more countries by end of year. After spending a couple months with the Optimus G Pro, LG is starting to find their feet with larger screens.

(via LG Electronics)

Contests! Kingston Memory Winners and Samsung vs Apple Rugged Case Show Down!

kingston technology giveaway contest usb flash ssd solidstatedrive 240gb hyperx somegadgetguySo first of all we have to announce the winners of the Kingston Fall Memory giveaway. Many thanks to Kingston Technology for an incredible prize pack which included Memory Cards, USB2 and USB3 flash drives, MobileLite Wireless Drives, and a 240GB HyperX SSD!

Also in this vid, we’re going to play a little game for our next giveaway, pitting Samsung owners against Apple owners. Enjoy!

New contest details after the jump!

Continue reading “Contests! Kingston Memory Winners and Samsung vs Apple Rugged Case Show Down!”