Don’t change a thing? Stick with what’s already working??? That’s a remarkable comment from a company that feels free to force major system changes on unsuspecting users, changes that destroy long-relied-upon functionality. And despite howls of protest from the user base, SONOS refuses to either back…
Binge-viewers rejoice: Netflix has rolled out its so-called post-play feature for Chromecast, automatically queuing up the next episode when you’ve finished watching an episode of a show. The feature works just like post-play does on devices like Roku, according to a post on Netflix’s blog, with one small difference: “We increased the countdown slightly to allow for more time to grab your phone or tablet.” Users who want to binge with their Chromecast need to update their Netflix iOS or Android app, and an update to the web app will be made available soon.
Roku launched a new white-label program dubbed Roku Powered Monday that makes the company’s streaming devices available to pay TV operators. Roku powered-devices feature the brand of the operator, and also give the operator the power to exclude certain apps. The program follows a partnership with British TV operator Sky, which has been selling customized Roku boxes under the Now TV brand for a little over a year.
Spotify just found another way to monetize the 30 million users of its free tier: The music service launched video ads across its mobile and desktop apps Monday, giving brands a way to insert either 15 or 30 second-long clips into its music stream. Advertisers who opt to pay more can also buy what the company calls a “sponsored session,” which gives users 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening if they watch an ad.
Amazon launched its Fire TV video streaming box in the U.K and Germany Wednesday, making the device available for pre-order through its website in both countries. Amazon has struck a number of partnerships to offer local content in both markets, with apps for the U.K.’s Sky News as well as Germany’s Spiegel TV as well as shows from broadcasters like ARD and ZDF. Notably absent in the U.K. is the BBC’s iPlayer. Netflix support hasn’t officially announced for Germany either, but will likely follow as soon as the service launches in the country later this month.
Apple has hired Anand Lal Shimpi, the founder of hardcore nuts-and-bolts tech website AnandTech. Shimpi announced his retirement from tech publishing on the weekend, 18 years after he began blogging at age 14 – Ryan Smith is the new editor in chief at AnandTech, a publication that’s something of a bible for those who like to delve into the specifics of computer components. Recode reported on Sunday that Apple had hired Shimpi, but the company didn’t explain what role he would be fulfilling.