Chromecast boasts 400 million casts as it celebrates its 1 year mark w/ 3 months of free Google Play Music All Access

Chromecast 1st birthday

Happy birthday, Chromecast! That’s what Google is saying today as it announced the HDMI media streaming stick has been used to cast content 400 million times in the 12 months since it launched. The Chromecast, of course, allows you to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora to your HDTV from your Android or iOS as well as your computer via the Chrome browser.

We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.

That’s certainly a lot of casting from the $35 accessory, and Google is giving all Chromecast users 90 days of its Google Play Music All Access service for free to celebrate. The offer to redeem 3 months of free access to the $9.99/month music subscription service will run from today, July 24th, through September 30th, for all existing Chromecast customers not already subscribed to All Access. Read more

Chromecast support coming soon to controversial movie streaming app Popcorn Time

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If you’re not familiar with Popcorn Time, it’s an app that allows you to stream movie and TV show torrents without any of the hassles usually associated with torrents – what you get is an interface which looks just like Netflix or Hulu. Thanks to a popular forked version, you’ll soon be able to watch that content on your TV when Chromecast support is added …  Read more

Oyster “Netflix of books” subscription service now available on Android

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Oyster, a startup out of New York which lets you pay a subscription fee for access to books, has released an Android app after having been available on iOS since August of last year. It has appropriately gained a reputation of being the “Netflix of books,” allowing users to pay just $9.95 for unlimited access to over 500,000 ebooks, but also touts human curation as being one its most important features. Read more

Report: Google to announce Android TV platform at I/O conference next month

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Google is about to launch a new Android TV platform at its upcoming Google I/O conference in June, according to a new report from GigaOM. The report claims the new platform will be a revamped vision of what Google already has with its Google TV platform and will focus mainly on online content and Android gaming rather than integrating with existing pay TV services:

Android TV won’t be another device, but rather a platform that manufacturers of TVs and set-top boxes can use to bring streaming services to the television. In that way, it is similar to Google TV, the platform the company unveiled at its 2010 Google I/O conference. But while Google TV was focused on marrying existing pay TV services with apps, Android TV will at least initially be all about online media services and Android-based video games.

Google has apparently been making deals with partners in the lead up to launching the new platform, some of which are said to include Netflix and Hulu Plus as well as hardware partners that will build and sell the Android TV devices. The report also shared some details on the Android TV UI: Read more

Google, Amazon, Netflix, and more join forces to voice support for net neutrality in letter to FCC

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Following a proposal that many fear threatens net neutrality, a plethora of tech companies today have come together to support net neutrality in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The group is led by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, and Twitter, as well as many others.

The letter voices disapproval of a recent proposal that would allow people to pay more in order to gain a higher priority from their internet service provider. The letter focuses on keeping the internet open, and perhaps treated as a utility. The companies make the case that with this new paid prioritization proposition, ISPs would be discriminating both technically and financially against internet companies

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Video: Hands-on with Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box

Amazon recently surprised us with its Fire TV set-top box, offering a native solution for customers to stream movies, music, and even play games. Fire TV will only set you back $99, and in my opinion, it’s just what Amazon needed. Instead of relying on third-party streaming solutions, Amazon now has the power to take its media services in a new direction. Take a look at our overview video above to see Fire TV in action.

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