After what seems like a million years, Sonos has begun to refresh their app interfaces with something a bit more modern (and flat). Along with the updated visuals, organization is vastly different as well. And, having only spent a day with the beta Android app, I’m not quite ready to pass judgement. The app opens to a screen headlined by a listing of music sources and paired with new search functionality, spanning multiple services. Pinned to the bottom of the home screen, is a speaker – by clicking that, you bring up a Now Playing screen. To see other speakers/rooms, you’d tap the current room’s name in the upper right. It doesn’t appear all features are in place yet, as you might expect from beta software, and I’m not sure flipping between white and black backgrounds is the best approach – but I had no problems getting my music going. iOS iPhone and iPad updates, along with the final Android app, are expected later this spring.
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It’s not clear if we collectively misunderstood LogMeIn’s original outreach or if the company has backpedaled amidst negative feedback from those of us who’d purchased their $30 Ignition app. As the story goes, LogMeIn abruptly dispensed with a Freemium remote access model, However, Ignition app owners were granted a complimentary 6 months of “Pro” access for their troubles. And I’d reasonably assumed after those six months, both computer-based and mobile access would be terminated (without purchasing an annual subscription). As it turns out, LogMeIn’s most recent communique (pasted above) states,
You can continue to remotely access your computers, as you have, from your mobile device with full access to the premium functionality in your LogMeIn Ignition app, whether or not you ultimately upgrade to LogMeIn Pro.
So that’s a little bit of good news. Assuming one possesses a tablet, since pulling up a full-on desktop computer via a 4-5″ screen is reserved for emergency access only. And there’s really no telling how long our good fortune will last, given this bit of clear language from LogMeIn’s original outreach:
While your existing Ignition app will continue work as it always has, it will no longer receive updates and bug fixes.
After ten years of service, LogMeIn has abruptly terminated their free tier of remote access. And my pal Janice speaks for many of us when she says, “That sound is parental tech support reps everywhere imploding at their desks.” Of course we don’t fault the company for wanting to make money and I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of the “freemium” model (and suspect its limitations are why Evernote now sells socks) – it’s the communication we take issue with.
Those who’ve purchased the $30 LogMeIn Ignition app for iOS and Android are being comped 6 months of Pro service, after which point we can move on or receive 50% off an annual two-computer plan for $49. Everyone else has 7 days after their next login to upgrade to a paid plan. As infrequent users, many of us will abstain… and are left wondering what else is out there.
As for me, Continue Reading…
HDMI streaming sticks are everywhere now, but a new one powered by Alticast, and shown for the first time at CES, comes with an interesting twist. The HDMI Media Express Stick includes both the Reference Design Kit (RDK) software bundle developed by Comcast (and now jointly managed with Time Warner), and Android support. That means it can be used as a set-top alternative by cable companies while also including access to Android apps.
Alticast CTO John Carlucci ran through a demo that showed multiple cable UIs running on the streaming stick. One was Korean (Alticast is headquartered in Korea), but one was the Cox Trio guide. Continue Reading…
One of PlayOn’s perennial dings has been the lack of high definition streaming. But, starting this month, both new and existing customers can upgrade from 480p to 720p… at a cost – both in terms of fees and required quad core processing capabilities. As a refresher, PlayOn lives on your home PC (sorry Mac owners) and relays web video to mobile devices and set-tops around your house (using native DLNA capabilities or dedicated PlayOn apps like this Roku one). While its companion product, PlayLater, is your web DVR – enabling you to record and offload video from the likes Netflix or Hulu. Looks like the going rate for new customers is $70 for both PlayOn and PlayLater, with HD capabilities and without messing with a monthly subscription – although that may be worth a gander before fully committing.