Mar 10 2012

News - Peel Smart Remote and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Reviewed

Peel on Galaxy Tab

As smartphones and tablets have come to be defined by the apps they run, one of the more surprisingly popular type of apps has been remote control apps. Most such apps are device specific, but a few companies have stepped up to try to create a new class of universal remote controls with their apps. One such company is Peel with their Peel Smart Remote. We reviewed the Peel Smart Review a few months ago. In our case, we used an iPhone 4S to run the app and to interact with the Peel Smart Remote hardware, a small Wi-Fi to IR converter device that the app communicates with. Recently, Peel teamed up with Samsung to bring their app to the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Samsung latest tablet. This is an intriguing combination because the new Galaxy Tab has a built-in IR emitter, making the Peel hardware unnecessary. Given the price of some high-end remotes, a $399 tablet devoted to running one's living room isn't completely out of the question, particularly given all of the extra functionality that a tablet brings to the table, assuming that the tablet and app work as advertised.

Well, Peel has now teamed up with Samsung to provide an integrated solution for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet. Because the Samsung tablet has built-in IR capabilities, there's no need for the add-on converter box. Peel sent me a sample of the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus ($399.99) to try out the Smart Remote system, and I took the opportunity to explore the tablet, as well.

Home Theater Review

Jan 11 2012

News - Plex Coming to Windows Phone 7

PlexI should have realized when Plex came out for the Nook Color and Tablet that there was no device or app market too small for the folks at Plex to develop for. To drive that point home, Plex is also coming to Windows Phone 7. Our friends at Engadget had the opportunity to go hands-on with an early version of the Windows Phone 7 client and see it in all it's Metro glory while wandering the CES Showstoppers floor. Navigating in the app looks pretty smooth, but reportedly the video playback is still pretty rough. Plex won't be sitting still after they finish the Windows Phone 7 client either. Plex was also showing off their new big screen TV UI. 

The Windows Phone 7 client lets you use your device as a remote control for your media setup or stream it straight to your device. Once you've selected a film, it'll aggregate your metadata from a variety of sources for actor bios, synopses and galleries. There's also "read it later" style save-lists and recommendations for when you want to share videos with friends. 


Dec 25 2011

News - Myriad Alien Vue Brings Google TV Apps to Set Top Boxes

Myriad launched Alien Dalvik to some fanfare a few years ago. The idea behind Alien Dalvik was to make it possible for Android apps to be run with little or no modification on any OS. The ill-fated MeeGo was the first OS to support Alien Dalvik, and unfortuantely Myraid's technology never really seemed to gain much of a foothold anywhere else. 

Myriad Alien Vue

Myriad's taking another crack at porting Android apps to non-Android devices, this time by targeting Google TV apps with Alien Vue. Alien Vue will allow set top and over-the-top box manufacturers add support for Google TV apps. It is becoming increasingly difficult for cable providers to ignore the app-ification of TVs, and Alien Vue might offer an opportunity to tap into that consumer interest without giving up the control they crave. It should be interesting to see if Myriad can gain some attention at CES this year.

 The usual suspects like Netflix, YouTube, and Twitter were mentioned, but there's also less typical apps supported as well, like RSS reader Pulse. Android device owners will see the extra benefit of using their devices as remotes, but there doesn't appear to be any other integration at the moment.

The Verge

Dec 21 2011

News - Plex for Android Gains Ice Cream Sandwich Support

Ple xlogoThe folks over at Plex have updated their Android app, bringing it to version The update brings with it a variety of video related fixes, including a number of UI tweaks to make using the video player a better experience. The big news for this update is official Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0, support. There are not many ICS devices in the wild at this point, but it is nice to see the Plex team staying ahead of the curve.

Plex the media streaming solution have updated the Android client to version, they have added Ice Cream Sandwich ( Android 4.0 ) support, video fixes, improved UI for small Android Tablets, i.e. Kindle Fire and several small fixes.

The Digital Lifestyle

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