Instagram brings back ‘Peek’ feature to Android devices

Instagram brings back ‘Peek’ feature to Android devices

Instagram has introduced a new feature called ‘Peek’ for Android users. This feature allows users to simply peek at an image by long pressing on the screen, thus saving the need to open it. The company had previously launched this feature but it was taken down for unknown reasons. However, the feature is now available in version 7.14.0, the latest version of the app on Android.

The Peek is inspired by 3D Touch feature available for iOS users. Once the user has had a glimpse of an image, he or she needs to release the screen to get back back to the page. Instagram has also put up its list of most-liked photos of 2015 and Meredith the Cat (Taylor Swift’s pet) stars in two of the top 10, along with few other superstars.

Currently, Instagram is also testing support for multiple accounts on Android. However, this feature seems to be working only for a selected few. There is no news as to when it will roll out for iOS users. This turns out to be a great addition for social media managers and also, business owners who use multiple accounts on a daily basis for work and promotion.

A recent report pointed out that Indians on Instagram are mostly young, mobile-first users with high spending power, according to an Instagram study that revealed insights for the first time about the community connected to the social platform.

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow update in India

Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow update in India

Motorola has given a New Year’s treat to its Moto G3 users in India as the phones will now be get an Android 6.0 Marshmallow update.

“Here is something new and amazing for your Moto G (3rd Gen.), the Android 6.0 Marshmallow!” Motorola India announced on its Twitter account.

However, the exact date of the rollout was not mentioned in the tweet.

The third-generation phone of the Moto G series will now be upgraded from Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) to Android 6.0.

The 2 GB update will add features like “Doze Mode” to extend the battery life, Google Now on Tap and simpler volume control and would remove the “Migrate” and “Assist” apps.

How to check for the update:

Generally, the phone would notify you about the update. If, however, one does not receive the notification, one can manually check for the update by going to Settings > About Phone > System Update.

The Moto G comes with a 5-inch HD display with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It will sport the Android 5.1.1 OS along with proprietary Motorola features such as Moto Display, Quick Capture and Chop Twice. The phone will house a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. This will be paired with 1GB of RAM for the 8GB storage variant and 2GB RAM for the 16GB storage variant.

On the camera front, you will get a 13MP rear snapper along with a 5MP front-facing camera. The Moto G will come in the dual SIM configuration and will support 4G SIM cards as well. A 2,470mAh capacity battery completes the package.

Android multitasking just got good – Jide bringing Remix OS to a computer near you

Jide Remix OS 6Jide, makers of the super affordable Remix Mini PC and the Jide Ultra Remix tablet, are bringing its in-house Remix OS to a computer near you. Here at CES 2016, Jide has announced that starting Tuesday, January 12th, anyone who would like to try out an Alpha build of Remix OS on their own computer will be able to do so for free. You’ll need an Intel or AMD based computer to try it out, and installation is quite easy.

Remix OS is based on Android KitKat for now, and the folks at Jide say that it will soon be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has full access to the Google Play Store, so just about any Android app that’s available on Google Play can be downloaded on Remix OS. You can even login to your main Google account, allowing you to download applications you’ve previously purchased on your other Android devices. If you find an app that’s not properly optimized for Remix OS, you can let the company know and the Jide team says that they’ll optimize it as soon as they can. For developers to properly optimize their applications to work with the new OS, app makers will simply need to stick as closely to Google’s best practices as possible. In our short time testing the OS, a number of popular applications were available for use, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Clash of Clans, and many more.

Jide Remix OS 1

For right now the consumer-ready version of Remix OS is in an alpha stage, so not all features are available yet. For the most part, it’s a functioning system, though it’s probably not stable enough to use as your main operating system.

The big story here is that you’ll be able to use traditional Android applications with a windowed application interface, similar to how you’d move windows around on Windows, OS X or Linux. The OS doesn’t weigh that much either, so it can be loaded up on a flash drive or a similar device. Now that Jide makes it much easier to get work done on Android, this whole portable Remix OS idea is geared towards college students and emerging markets, where public, shared computers are everywhere.

Jide Remix OS 3

remix-mini-1

Jide is still pushing the Remix Mini, as well. The Remix Mini comes with Remix OS pre-installed. It packs a quad-core 1.2GHz A53 processor, 1 or 2GB of RAM, 8 or 16GB of on-board storage, two USB ports, as well as an HDMI, Ethernet and headphone port. It’s available now from Amazon for just $70.

An introduction to Unity3D for easy Android game development

Lara Croft GO review AA 1

Want to create a game for Android? Chances are that it’s a lot simpler than you probably imagine, you just need to find the right tools. Unity3D is just such a tool that gives you access to a professional-grade game engine and streamlines the development process enough to be suitable for complete beginners. In fact, Unity3D is so beginner-friendly that you can create a pretty decent game with barely any coding experience.

Some people will take the stance that using a tool like Unity is ‘cheating’ or that it isn’t ‘proper coding’. But does that really matter? Blockbuster apps like Lara Croft GO, Thomas Was Alone, Shadowgun, Temple Run, Bad Piggies, The Room and even Deus Ex: The Fall were all built using Unity and they’ve gone on to enjoy critical and commercial success. Using Unity is much easier than making a game from scratch or using a more complex engine and as these games show, it really doesn’t limit what’s possible. So why would you make life more difficult for yourself?

What is Unity3D?

If you’re into your indie games, then there’s a good chance you will have heard of Unity already as it’s a favorite among small developers. Essentially, this is a cross-platform 3D engine that is designed to be as user friendly as possible for novices while still being powerful enough for pros.

Blockbuster apps like Lara Croft GO, Thomas Was Alone, Shadowgun, Temple Run, Bad Piggies, The Room and even Deus Ex: The Fall were all built using Unity
A 3D engine of course, is a physics engine that handles the laws and behaviors of various game objects, it also handles the rendering of graphics, lighting and physics like gravity and momentum and may even have some gameplay elements included. If you want to create a 3D engine from scratch, you’ll need to code everything from the way a glass falls off a table down to the way it bounces and refracts light on the way down. Doing the same thing in Unity3D means making a 3D model of a glass, setting its mass and gravity and positioning it on a table in your game world – it’s the difference between a team working for months or one person making a few mouse clicks.

While many other 3D engines exist (such as the Unreal 4 Engine), Unity3D is one of the simplest and has an interface that makes it almost ‘game maker’ like. It also has the advantage of being truly cross platform – you can build a game in Unity3D and then publish it to Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Mobile, MacOS, Linux… even PS4 and Xbox One.

And because Unity lets you incorporate your own code, there’s really no limit to what’s possible. You can even make games that will support VR.

Who Shouldn’t Use Unity?

If you plan on creating a regular mobile game – especially a 3D one – then using Unity makes the best business sense and will be the most fun.

The only times that the limitations of Unity might get in the way, are if you plan on squeezing the very best performance possible out of Android to achieve groundbreaking graphics or if your game has incredibly unique mechanics that are easier to build from scratch.

Debugger: Brain Untraining
If the former is true, then you might want to rethink your strategy. Unless you have tons of time on your hands, an unlimited budget and are a coding prodigy you’re not going to be able to compete with the triple A titles. If your game doesn’t really need an engine or is completely unique then sure, you might prefer to build your game from the ground up but you’ll still need some skills to make it happen. And you’d be surprised at just how versatile Unity is – think about how different games like The Room, Lara Croft GO and Deus Ex: The Fall are from one another. As mentioned, you can even make productivity apps with Unity.

Finally, Unity might not be suitable for you if you are completely terrified by the prospect of coding anything yourself. While a lot of the physics and behaviour are already pre-coded (the Rigidbody class takes care of pretty much all physics for instance) you will still occasionally need to add a little C# or Java of your own in order to define some unique behaviors. Most of the information necessary can be found online in tutorials but just to warn you, this isn’t a completely ‘code free’ experience.

Game Development With Unity

The best way to know for sure? Give it a try and see how you get on. Unity is great fun just to play around with, so it’s worth trying out even if you have no aspirations to become a developer.

Getting Started

If I have convinced you that Unity is a great option for your Android game or app, then you may be itching to take the next step.

In that case, you’ll want to head on over to the Unity website where you’ll simply need to click ‘Get Unity 5’ to start downloading.

The great news is that Unity is actually completely free to download. You’ll only need to pay if you want to get the Professional Edition which costs $75 per month and gives you access to some additional features such as the ‘Team License’ for collaborative projects, priority support and the option to customize the Unity splash screen that shows up when your game loads. Once you’ve downloaded Unity, you’ll need to sign up with an account.

If you’re a professional game studio then you’ll probably want to shell out for the Professional Edition. If you’re an indie developer or you’re just planning on having a little play around, then the free version will do just fine. And you can always upgrade later down the line.

Along with Unity 5 itself, you’re also going to need an Android Emulator or a physical device to test your games on. If it’s an action game, then I recommend using a physical device as most emulators are pretty slow. On top of that, you need the Android SDK and JDK – just as you would if you were creating an Android app in Android Studio. These are what will allow Unity to compile and save your game as an Android app; but actually you won’t need them until right at the end.

Something else you’re going to need is Visual Studio, or another environment for coding in C# or Java such as MonoDevelop. This is what you’ll use to edit the scripts in Unity, so when you want to make your character double jump for instance, you’ll click ‘Create New C# Script’ and it will open up the IDE.

Once all this is set up, you’ll be ready to launch Unity and get stuck in…

The Unity UI

If there’s the interest, then in future I can make an article talking you through creating your first simple Android game in Unity discuss how to use the different classes etc. For now though, let’s just quickly look at what everything is and how to make head and tail of the UI.

The Unity Editor is comprised of lots of different windows where you can manipulate assets and view your project. The ‘#Scene’ pane for example shows you your level and all the assets therein. You can use this to pick up sprites or 3D models and move them around, to zoom in or out or to otherwise build your world.

Unity

Next to this is the ‘Hierarchy’ window. This gives you a long list of all your assets that are ‘in play’ (i.e. being used in the level or scene). You can thereby quickly find things like sprites, models, audio etc. and highlight them in your scene window.

When you select an item either in the hierarchy or the scene, you’ll then be shown some information about it in the ‘Inspector’. This is where you can set properties, attach scripts or review variables. You can also change the size and the rotation, add a collision detector, set the order it appears in the layer and more.

The ‘Project’ pane meanwhile is where you can see all the files that relate to your project. These aren’t necessarily being used in your current scene but are here ready to be called into action. Essentially, this is a file explorer and if you’re good, your files will be neatly arranged into their correct folders (nope!). Folders of particular interest are the ‘scripts’ folder (which is where you’ll keep the code you write for your assets) and the ‘prefabs’ folder. Prefabs are assets with predefined behaviors, scripts and variables which you can use for quick access. Better yet, when you use an prefab, you can easily make game-wide changes that will be reflected in multiple scenes (levels). This means you could choose to make platforms in your Mario clone 1 pixel wider and this would be instantly reflected in every instance of that game element.

There are a ton of tutorials available and in general the community and support for Unity are two of its strongest features.
The ‘Game’ window is the window where you’ll be able to test your game, the ‘Console’ window is where you’ll see errors and debugging information and the ‘Asset Store’ is where you can buy or download ready-made assets like sprites, particle effects, sounds, scripts and more to add to your game.

Building a Thing

There are more windows of course but these are the ones you’ll use the most and the ones that you’ll see the first time you load Unity up. Try adding a few assets to your scene and hit ‘play’ to see what happens.

When you’re ready to really get stuck in, try following a tutorial to learn the ropes. There are a ton of tutorials available and in general the community and support for Unity are two of its strongest features. Here are two great tutorials you can use for 2D games or 3D games respectively.
If you want to get up and running with some working code even faster though, you can always try out some of the free samples and then do a little reverse-engineering

Unity comes with a ton of ready-made projects to help you start having fun and learning the ropes and these can serve as a useful reference and a way to experiment and see what’s possible. I still recommend working through the tutorials above as well though, as that way you’ll have a better idea of how everything in your project actually works.

To get started with a sample project, you just need to head to the ‘Assets Store’ I mentioned earlier, which you can access through Unity itself. In here you can not only find sprites, scripts and effects to use in your games but also a plethora of fully-working games and sample code.

You can also find the official samples from Unity here if you’d rather download through your browser. A great one to start with is the 2D Game Pack, though there are all kinds of things here for your perusal.

When you’re ready, just click play to try it out in the game window!

Some Words of Advice for the Novice Game Developer

When you first start Unity, you’ll probably find your imagination running wild with all the possibilities. This is an incredibly powerful, simple and easy tool for game and app creation.

Super Hexagon android puzzle games

Super Hexagon android puzzle gamesBut my advice if you’re intending on creating something for release, is to be modest in your ambitions to begin with. Don’t set out to create the next 3D action blockbuster because you’ll be working for years and sinking hundreds of hours of your life into it

For your first project then, consider making something simple and easy that you can complete in a few months. Endless runners work well, as do games with procedurally generated elements as they create much less work for you. Titles like Flappy Bird and Super Hexagon show just how successful a very simple app can be and that way, you’ll be able to enjoy getting reviews and even some profit rather than spending years on something you never manage to complete.

That said though, development isn’t always about the finished product. Give it a go, have some fun and you might just surprise yourself by building something amazing…

TP-Link Launches Neffos C5 Max, Neffos C5, Neffos C5L Android Smartphones

TP-Link Launches Neffos C5 Max, Neffos C5, Neffos C5L Android Smartphones

TP-Link, a popular networking product manufacturer, following its announcement of its first smartphone brand ‘Neffos’ last month, on Thursday launched three new smartphones in its C5 series. The company launched Neffos C5 Max, Neffos C5, and Neffos C5L. The pricing and availability details of the dual-SIM Android 5.1 Lollipop-based smartphones have not been revealed yet.

“Neffos is a new journey for TP-Link to bring more extension of lifestyle to our users. We expect its performance in global market will provide us references to develop more and better products in the future,” said Justin Tu, Vice President of TP-Link, in a statement on Thursday. “The philosophy of ‘Smart& Simple’ is reflected in all our products that aim to make users’ life easier. TP-Link will continue to build a smart lifestyle.”

The Neffos C5 Max features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution IPS display and is backed by a 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, clubbed with 2GB RAM and Mali-T720 MP3 GPU. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone bears a 16GB inbuilt storage, which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). The 4G LTE supporting handset measures 152x76x8.95mm, weighs 147 grams and is backed by a 3045mAh battery.

tp_link_neffos_c5.jpg

The Neffos C5 (seen above) features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution IPS display. It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The LTE supporting handset measures 144x72x8.8mm, weighs 141 grams, and is backed by a 2200mAh battery. Rest of the specifications match that of Neffos C5 Max.

The Neffos C5L features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) resolution IPS display and is backed by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor clocked at 1.1GHz, clubbed with 1GB RAM and Adreno 304 GPU. It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone bears an 8GB inbuilt storage, which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). The LTE supporting Neffos C5L measures 136×67.7×10.15mm, weighs 154 grams and is backed by a 2000mAh battery.

Blu Vivo 5, Vivo XL Android Smartphones Launched at CES 2016

Blu Vivo 5, Vivo XL Android Smartphones Launched at CES 2016

Blu, the US-based smartphone maker, has unveiled two new Android smartphones, the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL, at the ongoing CES 2016 trade-show in Las Vegas.

The Blu Vivo 5 will be going on sale starting next month priced at $199 (approximately Rs. 13,250). On the other hand, the Blu Vivo XL will be available this month priced at $149 (approximately Rs. 10,000). Both the phones will go on sale via Amazon and BestBuy.com in the US. The company so far has not revealed any plans to launch the new Vivo 5 and Vivo XL smartphones in more markets. The Vivo XL sports a liquid metal finish while the Vivo 5 features a full metal design.

Both the new Blu phones come with a lot of identical innards. The Blu Vivo 5 and Blu Vivo XL feature 5.5-inch Super Amoled display with a screen resolution of 720×1280 pixels and a pixel density of 267ppi. Both sport Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. Both are powered by an octa-core MediaTek (MT6753) processor clubbed with 2GB of RAM. Both run Android 5.1 Lollipop and are said to be upgradeable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

One of the biggest differences between the two handsets is that the Vivo 5 features 3GB of RAM and comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, while the Vivo XL packs 2GB of RAM and includes 16GB of inbuilt storage. Both the handsets support expandable storage up to 64GB (via microSD card).

blu_vivo_xl_screen.jpg

The Blue Vivo 5 and Blu Vivo XL both sport a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash while also pack a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera on the Blu Vivo 5 features PDAF (phase-detection autofocus). Both support dual-SIM and come with 4G LTE connectivity option. The Blue Vivo 5 and Blu Vivo XL pack USB Type-C ports, the highlight of both the handsets. Both the handsets are backed by a 3150mAh battery.

The Blu Vivo 5 measures 151.9×74.6×6.9mm and weighs 141 grams. The Vivo XL, on the other hand, comes with 155.2×82.2×7.5 and weighs 152 grams. The Blu Vivo XL will be come in Chrome Silver, Liquid Gold, Midnight Blue, and Rose Gold colours while the the Vivo 5 in White-Silver and Gold colours.

Google pushes out January security updates for Nexus devices

nexus phones

The new year is bringing some new security patches for Google’s Nexus devices. The company has posted the factory images for the January security update, which means they’ll also start heading out in over-the-air updates soon.

All of the patches are based on Android 6.0.1. The Nexus 6P and 5X receive MMB29P, the Nexus 5, 6, and 9 will get MMB29S, while the Nexus Player is slated for MMB29T. If you want to install them yourself and would like some guidance, check out our guide forhow to install factory images on your device.

Other phones that have promised to keep up with Google’s monthly security patches should receive these fixes in the coming weeks.

The story behind the story: Google pledged to start doing monthly security patchesafter the Stagefright vulnerability exposed nearly all Android devices to a nasty bug. So far the company has stuck to the pledge, which means you’re probably far less likely to encounter any type of security issues if you’re running one of Google’s stock Android devices. Other companies like Motorola, Samsung, and LG have promised to follow suit.

Huawei announces a gold Nexus 6P and high-end, 10-inch Android tablet

mediapad m2 10 2

Huawei wants more than just a foothold in the U.S. mobile market—it wants to be seen as a major player in every relevant device category. To that end, the Chinese manufacturer just revealed five new products at CES in Las Vegas, including a gold-colored Nexus 6P smartphone, a premium 10-inch Android tablet, two smaller versions of its recently launched Android Wear watch, and even a mid-range smartphone to boot.

Individually, the devices might not seem like significant product launches. But taken as a collection, these new Huawei devices speak volumes. They’re relatively affordable and come in fancy shells—two qualities that all mobile users crave. Let’s dig in to the details.

A vanity update to the Nexus 6P

nexus6p gold 01

First up in Huawei’s list of announcements is a new, fancier version of the pure Android Marshmallow Nexus 6P—our pick for phone of the year. The 6P will be available in gold this month for the same price as its counterparts. The 32GB variant will retail for $500, while the 64GB version will run $550. You can buy the Nexus vanity phone directly from the Google Play Store or at Best Buy.

The Huawei Watch gets smaller

huaweiwatches new

One of our major gripes with the Huawei Watch is that it’s simply too big for some wrists. Huawei’s heeded the call and added a new model catered for smaller wrists—specifically women’s. The Huawei Watch Jewel is rose-gold plated with Swarovski crystals, all of which are tethered to a thinner, 18mm band. There’s also the Huawei Watch Elegant, which sports a more neutral, modern look. Pricing for both watches will be announced later.

Huawei said it wasn’t planning on “reinventing the wheel” for its smartwatch lineup, which is why both the Jewel and Elegant feature the same hardware specifications as the six other models already available for sale.

A mid-tier phone with a high-end look

huawei gx8 white

The GX 8 is another attempt from Huawei to introduce one of its more popular Chinese phones to the U.S. market (its last few attempts came via low-end and mid-tier phones like the P8 Lite). The $350, all-metal device will be available later this quarter with a 5.5-inch TFT display, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 3000 mAh battery pack, a fingerprint scanner, and an expansion slot. It will also come equipped with a 13-megapixel front-facing shooter and 5-megapixel rear-shooting one.

A premium Android tablet

There haven’t been too many major Android tablet announcements in the past year, but Huawei’s hoping to spark some change with its premium tablet, the all-metal MediaPad N210.

mediapad m2 10

The tablet runs on a 2GHz octa-core Kirin processor with a 6660mAh battery pack. It features a 10-inch, 1080p display with 16:10 aspect ratio, and 2.0 Surround Sound, provided by Harmon Kardon. The N210 also offers four speakers, two on top and two towards the bottom, in an effort to outshine its competitors as entertainment-focused devices.

Huawei’s Wi-Fi only tablet will also be one of its first U.S.-centric devices to prominently feature its proprietary Kirin processor, which will go head-to-head with Samsung’s octa-core 1.9GHz Exynos 5433 processor in its Galaxy Tab S2 devices, and Nvidia’s Tegra X1 in Google’s productivity-focused Pixel C.

The MediaPad N210 will be available later this quarter in two varieties: a silver version with 16GB version and 2GB of RAM, and a gold version with 64GB of storage space and 3GB of RAM. The gold version will also come bundled with a pressure sensitive stylus, and both devices features expansion slots.

BlackBerry is all about Android in 2016

priv 0201

BlackBerry anticipates launching at least one—and possibly two—new smartphones for 2016, but neither of them will run the company’s own BlackBerry 10 software. Instead, CEO John Chen says the company will focus on producing new Android-based devices over the next 12 months, the BlackBerry chief told CNET during CES in Las Vegas.

After BlackBerry released its first Android phone—the Priv—in November, it seemed only a matter of time before the company would dump BlackBerry 10. However, Chen’s comments are not a death sentence for BlackBerry 10. Chen told CNET his hope is that quality Android phones like the Priv and the handsets coming in 2016 will raise the profile of the BlackBerry brand.

If that happens, BlackBerry may have a strong enough business to bet on a BlackBerry 10 handset once again.

The story behind the story: In October, Chen made it clear that 2016 would be a make or break year for BlackBerry’s handset business. If the company couldn’t make its handsets profitable again, Chen all but said that BlackBerry would get out of the smartphone business altogether. Another series of BlackBerry 10 handsets would almost certainly guarantee failure for BlackBerry. A line of Android smartphones combining the Google Play Store and BlackBerry’s secure apps, however, could be a big hit and put BlackBerry smartphones in the black once again.

More Priv

While we wait for BlackBerry’s next Android effort, the Priv is about to get more exposure in the U.S. AT&T’s exclusive with the device is up and the rest of the big four carriers will soon carry the device. T-Mobile will carry the Priv starting January 26, Verizon is set to get it at the end of March, and Sprint has yet to announce a release date.

Google reveals new partnerships for Android TV, Google Cast platforms

android tv

Google’s effort to power your home entertainment has a new crew of allies. The company announced it’s partnering up with several new TV and speaker makers for its Android TVand Google Cast platforms.

On the Android TV front, Arcelik, Vestel, RCA, Hisense, TCL and Bang & Olufsen, and Linknet have pledged new models will come with Google’s software. Sony, Sharp, and Philips are already on board.

New speakers, soundbars, and A/V receivers from several companies will include support for Google Cast, so you can push content from your phone to them just as you would a Chromecast.

google cast speakers

B&O Play, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Philips, Pioneer, and Raumfeld have pledged to build the technology into new devices. Sony and LG are also refreshing their speaker lineups to offer Cast-ready hardware.

Google also pledged that Multi-room functionality is coming, which would allow you to group speakers connected to Chromecast Audio together in order to listen to the same song everywhere.

Why this matters: Google wants its entertainment platforms to come with the A/V hardware so they’re ready to go right out of the box. By far the company’s most successful product has been the Chromecast, as it’s very easy to stream content directly to your television from any smartphone, Android or iOS. Android TV has been a tougher sell, with the Nvidia Shield TV as the major bright spot. Google’s plan going forward is to partner up with as many TV makers as possible to get the software on your home screen.