AllCast updated with ability to Cast content from Google Drive to Chromecast

chromecast

Since its release back in December, AllCast has become one of the most useful apps for owners of Google’s $35 Chromecast. This afternoon, the app, developed by Koushik Dutta, was updated with support for yet another source to beaming content from your Android device to your Chromecast. With this update, you can now stream content from your Google Drive account to your Chromecast, via the AllCast app.

The feature is still in an early beta, but it actually works quite well. The interface within the app still needs work, though, For instance, you simply see a list of all your videos and images, which can be rather cluttered for people with a lot of files stored in Drive. Folder support is in the works for the next update, however, according to Dutta.

In addition to Google Drive support, the update also includes various bug fixes, including a fix for those whose Chromecast and Android device were disconnecting after 30 minutes. The full changelog is below:

  • BETA: Google Drive
  • Potential fix for disconnecting after 30+ minutes
  • Various bug fixes

The update is available on Google Play now, for both the free and premium versions of the app. 

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Review: HTC One (M8): Excellent hardware improves, confusing software worsens

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If hardware quality was the only factor in buying a phone, you could stop reading right here and go out and buy the HTC One M8 – it is the best looking, best built (AFAICT after 3 days) phone out there, bar none.

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The front will look familiar, if elongated, to current One owners. It still has separated stereo speakers which incidentally are again the best you’ll hear in a phone by a long shot, but the screen is bigger and unfortunately so is the bezel around the screens.

That extra length tallies to a centimeter taller than its predecessor making an already big phone now almost phablet-like in stature. Add to that HTC’s insistence of putting a power button on top of the phone which you must shimmy up and down to reach and you’ve got yourself some usability experience issues before you even turn on the phone.

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The back of my gray “stainless steel” unit matches up nicely with my fridge in the kitchen. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It looks gorgeous, though I’m not sure I’d say the same for other color variations offered, particularly the gold model. The improved curves are super nice in the hand and also look the part. You’d almost forgive how long this thing is…almost.

The M8 may not be terribly repairable by iFixit standards, but HTC has your back with a pretty impressive repair plan called HTC Customer Advantage. In it, you get a free screen repair within 6 months, a somewhat vague promise to keep Android updated to the most recent version (the website says “We are committed to keeping you current” but at the show they said 2 years of upgrades), and 25-50GB of extra Google Drive space.

Besides the length coupled with the power button, I’m still a huge fan of the exterior. But then there is the interior with HTC’s insistence on Sense 6.0 and this new 3-camera system… Read more

Another HTC One M8 leaked video posted online ahead of tomorrow’s launch

We’re getting set for tomorrow’s big launch event by watching previews of what we’re going to see. A lengthy claimed video of the long-awaited successor to the HTC One has been posted, and while it’s unverified, it certainly looks convincing.

The M8 is simply the codename for the handset, just as the One was codenamed the M7. It’s not known whether HTC will brand the replacement as the new HTC One or give it a new name. Separate rumors have suggested the HTC One 2, and the HTC All New One, both of which sound pretty silly.

We’re expecting to see a Snapdragon 801 or 805 processor, 2GB RAM, a choice of 16 or 32GB storage, support for microSD cards of up to 128GB and a full-HD (1920×1080) display, running Android 4.4. The casing appears to be all-aluminum, with a brushed finish. Rumors have suggested that it will be available in a choice of silver, gold and grey colors …  Read more

Google drops price of all monthly Google Drive plans to $2/100GB, $10/1TB, $100/10TB

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Google announced today on its blog that it’s lowering the monthly pricing plans it offers for users buying extra storage on Google Drive. Google attributes the changes to “recent infrastructure improvements” that is allowing it to offer more affordable storage options. Google reminds us that, as always, Drive storage purchased through the new plans counts towards storage for Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos.

The new plans begin at just $1.99 for 100GB down from the previous $4.99 for the same amount of storage. There is also a new $10 plan for 1TB (down from $50 previously), and a 10TB and up option that starts at $99.99. Google will also continue offering the free 15GB option that comes with your Google account for Drive, Gmail and Google+.

How big is a terabyte anyway? Well, that’s enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for… shall we say… less important things. Like before, storage continues to work across Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. And, of course, the 15GB plan remains free.

The new pricing plans for Google Drive are available now through www.google.com/settings/storage. Users that are already signed up for a monthly plan will be automatically switched to the new, better plans.  Read more

HTC tries to woo U.S. customers with free screen damage cover in HTC Advantage program

Image: ggpht.com

Image: ggpht.com

For those who may be waiting to choose between the Samsung S5 and the new HTC flagship handset code-named the M8, HTC has a little sweetener for you: a free, one-time replacement of the screen if you break it within the first six months of ownership. The company is also promising to offer Android updates for two years.

Now when customers buy any HTC One they can rest assured their device will be future proofed, with major Android updates for 2 years from launch. And it’s nearly accident proof too, because we will replace a broken screen for free once within the first 6 months you own it—let’s face it accidents do happen and we want to keep your device in great condition …  Read more

Google updates Play Services with turn-based multiplayer, improved battery life, and more

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Google last updated its Play Services app back in October when KitKat and the Nexus 5 launched with a plethora of improvements. Today via the official Android Developers Blog, the company has announced another rather significant update to the app, brining it to version 4.1.

First off, the update will allow for developers to start implementing turn-based multiplayer capabilities into games entirely with Play Services. This will allow for improved asynchronous games with friends and opponents. The update also adds a developer preview of a new Google Drive API that lets users read and write Google Drive files from any device, with or without a data connection, and have their changes synced across other devices and platforms.

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