A recently-published Apple patent has revealed that the Cupertino-based company is contemplating new technology surrounding an advanced TV remote, that could work alongside its rumored “iTV”, PatentlyApple reported on Thursday. The patent suggests that Apple’s new universal remote could take a photo of a user’s current TV remote and send it to iCloud for analysis. iCloud would return a “virtual copy” of the remote along with data detailing all the remote’s features and functionality to a user’s iPhone, which will then be able to mimic the original remote’s functions. Apple’s rumored iOS-powered high-definition television, currently referred to as the iTV, will reportedly enter production in May or June ahead of a launch that may take place in the fourth quarter this year. More →
A patent filed by Google showcases a new technology that could enable users to control Google TV-equipped devices using their voices, reports Patently Apple. Using a specific smartphone app, users could be able to speak commands or queries that are then acted upon by a television, a set-top box, a DVD player or another device equipped with Google TV, according to the patent filing. The patent documentation also mentions an interesting feature where “the provision of the query to the television may occur when the user is within a set distance of his home also (e.g., by determining with GPS functionality on the smartphone that he is within 1/4 mile of the home), and the television may be turned on automatically as he approaches the home, with the television tuned to a channel that is determined to be most relevant to the query.” Google’s technology can also be applied to music, allowing users to remotely set up a playlist to be streamed on a TV or other device. Whether or not we can expect Google TV products to launch with the functionality described in this patent is unknown. More →
Samsung has developed a new universal remote control for its televisions and home theater accessories that ditches dozens of buttons in favor of Siri-like voice command support and a touch pad. As Apple reportedly readies an assault on the TV industry, established vendors such as Sony, LG and Samsung looked to cut the Cupertino-based firm off at the pass during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. All the big names at this year’s show added voice controls and gesture support to their flagship HDTVs, and now Samsung has taken the wraps off its new voice-controlled universal remote, Nikkei’s Tech-On blog reports. The device allows users to speak commands in many cases rather than typing on a keyboard or pressing buttons, and it uses a combination of Bluetooth and infrared connectivity to improve reliability. While Samsung hasn’t yet stated exactly which devices will be compatible with its new remote, it did say TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other accessories will be supported. More →
On Wednesday Ryz Media announced that it has completely revamped its MyTVRemote for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, an accessory that allows iOS device owners to control their TVs without a standard clicker. The MyTVRemote has been updated with a newer IR transceiver, as well as a new orb design. It also provides support for a complete program guide for every zip code in the United States. Using the free MyTVRemote application, TV watchers can see what the most popular programs on TV are or connect using Facebook or Twitter to discuss shows. The MyTVRemote is available in four colors for $9.99 and the corresponding application is free. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
A few days ago Google was made aware that there were over 20 apps in the Android Market that were up to no good. These malicious apps gained system-level access to your handset when downloaded and would intercept and covertly transmit private data to 3rd party servers. Some of these apps have been downloaded more than 50,000 times. To try and fix the problem, Google has started using a remote kill switch feature in Android to wirelessly nuke those installed apps on user’s handsets. That’s not the entire story, though, as Google is actually installing new code in the process. The new code undoes the exploit and prevents your data from being shared, and it’s kind of creepy to plainly see how much control Google has over your Android phone from afar. Affected users have started receiving emails that the process has been completed. More →
U.S. wireless provider Sprint has announced a new mobile application available to subscribers of its Total Equipment Protection (TEP) program, titled Protection App. Protection App — available to Android and BlackBerry users — will allow customers who have lost their smartphone to locate the device using a web portal, remotely lock the device, erase address book contacts, and manage contacts. Sprint customers can sign up for the TEP program within 30 days of a new handset purchase; the application can be downloaded for free from Sprint’s website. TEP retails for $7 per month. Hit the break for the full press release.
As Netflix continues to barrel into living rooms across the country, the thriving company announced new agreements Tuesday that will enable one-click access to its streaming video services on compatible partner devices. The new deal will place a dedicated Netflix button, complete with the Netflix logo, on remote controls that ship with various consumer electronics including Watch Instantly-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players and set top boxes. Manufacturers on board include Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Dynex (Best Buy’s in-house brand), Haier, Memorex, Boxee, Iomega and Roku. The deal is big news for Netflix, and it stands to substantially increase brand visibility. Netflix claims that there are currently more than 250 devices on the market compatible with its streaming video service. Hit the break for Netflix’s full press release. More →
Things have been fairly quiet in Google TV-land since the service launched back in October, that is until today. Google has announced an automatic, over-the-air update being pushed out to GTV owners. The update includes: an updated Netflix app with more streaming titles and the ability to add DVDs to your mailing queue, an enhanced “dual view” that will allow a movable, re-sizable picture-in-picture window to be displayed, a voice-actions enabled remote control application for Android smartphones, and more movie sources. The company reports that users should begin seeing this update roll out to their devices “throughout the week,” and that the Google TV Remote app is “available today” but “all features may not work until your device has received the update.” Hit the jump to see a quick video demo of the mobile app. More →
Hollywood Style Awards sponsor Klipsch hit us up and dropped us a pair of its brand new Image ONE stereo headphones to give away. Klipsch’s Image ONE headphones bring the company’s unique high-performance sound quality to an on-ear form factor for the first time. The cans are also among the first on-ears to feature an in-line remote and mic for use with Apple’s iPhone, iPad or iPod lines.
Here’s how you can enter:
- Just drop a comment below in the comments section of this post and you’ll automatically be entered to win
- We’ll run the contest for a week, until December 19th at 11:59PM
- The contest is open worldwide, but you must be at least 18 years or older
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook if you’d like!
- Remember, one comment per person — if you comment more than once, you’ll be disqualified
Sony thinks their Google TV-enabled Internet TV product is the future of home television. We covered the announcement and played with the product a little bit at the press event, but there isn’t anything like getting up close and personal with something in your own environment. Your TV, your sofa, your own install and set up. Read on for our thoughts on Sony’s Internet TV Blu-ray player, and whether or not we think the future is here! More →
We had a chance to get up close and personal with Sony’s latest TV set and sister Blu-ray player. Here are our first thoughts:
- We haven’t seen Logitech’s Revue Google TV device in person, but the Sony experience looks similar to it. Sony told us that the only Sony customization was a recommended channel area, so for you purists out there, it looks like this is a really clean Google offering.
- We caught some lag when hopping menu to menu and typing when using the remote sometimes took a second or two to catch up but all in all, the Intel Atom-powered TV seemed pretty zippy.
- Speaking of the remote, we’re completely torn about it. Andrew loves it, but I couldn’t care much for it. The size is definitely intriguing as it is way smaller in person than we expected it to be. Also, the feel is right — pretty light without feeling inexpensively cheap. However, the myriad of buttons sort of confuses us, especially when a bunch of them don’t serve a purpose 90% of the time in what we’d imagine would be your daily use. I’ll use my Android handset to control my Google TV device as opposed to a manufacturer remote, you can believe that. Last thing about the remote… no backlight! So sad.
- The picture in picture capability is practically the selling point here… if you’re a multitasker, you’re going to love with PIP on. It’s pretty amazing that you can have that picture window of the current TV show or recording you’re watching open on the screen and at the same time browse a website, check something on Google Maps, search for a program to record, and more.
- The range in sizes and price is pretty spectacular. At a cost of $1,399 for the 46″ edge-lit LED model is practically a steal — and the time to market is also delicious as the sets and Blu-ray player will be available this weekend.
All in all, this wasn’t something we didn’t expect, yet we’re incredibly excited for Sony to pioneer this new category of TV entertainment. Let’s see if they can knock it out of the park…
According to tips sent in to Electronista, the reason that Apple’s planned iTunes streaming service yet to be released is due to the fact that the Cupertino-based company has yet to finalize licensing deals with major record labels. Apple currently has licensing deals which allow customers to stream music from their own computers to their devices, but streaming music directly from Apple’s servers — one of the features we mentioned in our exclusive on the service — would require a new deal be inked. Although Apple would like to get the deal finalized as soon as possible, allegations that many record label executives have not have the service detailed to them indicates we may still have a ways to go. More →
One of our reliable Apple sources has just filled us in on some of the company’s iTunes plans, and they’re exciting. We have been told iTunes will be getting a huge cloud capability that many people have been asking for (and logically thought would happen sooner or later). These new capabilities are broken down into three groups:
- Streaming music and movies from Apple’s servers to your computers, devices, etc.
- Streaming music and movies from your home computers to your other computers, remote devices, etc.
- Wireless iTunes syncing with devices
For the first point, we have been told that this will work pretty much like you’d expect it to… pretty much any Apple device with wireless capability will have te ability to stream purchased content directly from Apple’s servers, thus eliminating the need for a lot of local storage. With the second point, Apple will reportedly let you be the content distributor to your own computers and devices, as any purchased content that’s locally on your computer will be able to be streamed using your internet connection out to your devices. Lastly, yes, wireless syncing of iTunes for devices.
For wireless syncing, we are told it will work pretty seamlessly. Any apps you buy for instance on your iPhone will immediately sync to your computer, changes to your calendar, or notes, or contacts will also automatically update on your computer as well. What good would all these new features be without some new devices? Apple’s traditional fall event (or maybe even before it) should bring at least “two new devices with camera/camcorder capabilities.” Well, there you have it!
Thanks, Lindsey S.!