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Netflix and Android - chromecast, downloading, profiles - close to perfection!

Netflix and Android have always had a great relationship, but over recent years the app has really gone from strength to strength. The interface is fantastic and the feature set continues to grow in meaningful ways, making it one of my must-have apps.
The first example that comes to mind is obviously Chromecast support. Now this isn’t a Netflix exclusive option, and it is supported well in many media apps, but Netflix and Chromecast work so seamlessly well together that I struggle to think about how I survived before the pairing existed!
Next is the newly integrated ‘Download’ option, which allows users to download content and watch it on the go without a data connection.  Honestly, Netflix kicked it out of the park with this one – it could not be easier to use, it includes all the right settings (save to SD, definition quality control, etc) – and best of all it is all within the existing price brackets. I almost feel they could have charged extra for this service alone – but am ext…

Google Play Store

Today’s app of the day is a little bit different. Instead of recommending a new app, I’ll actually discuss “Google Play”. Haven’t been keeping up to date with your Android news and are not familiar with Google Play? If so, then read on…

For anyone who has logged onto the "Android Market" over the last week or so, it would have likely been obvious that a few things have changed. For starters, it should have been obvious that the green "Market" icon no longer exists, and in its place is a white and silver icon called "Play Store". So what does this all mean...


What Google Play means for you

As you may have guessed, Google has decided to re-brand its content hub, most likely to facilitate the greater amount and wider variety of content that is now available. Since its inception, the variety of content available in the Android Market has gradually increased. It will now not only cater for apps but:

1.books
2.music
3.movies

and who knows what else. The new label of “Play” is an obvious attempt by Google to try to capture the new variety of content that is available on android devices, under a catchier banner than “Android Market”.


Was the name change to Google Play store necessary?

I doubt Apple would ever “gloss up” its market place. I suppose in Android's case it was necessary considering their expansionism. I didn't actually think there was anything wrong with the name “Market”. At the end of the day, even with the new content, it still had to be obtained through a “Market”. This was an obvious choice. In contrast, when I think of obtaining a new app or book, I don’t think of “Playing” that app or “Playing” a book. The word “Play” is a neater fit for gaming, music and video content, but when apps make up the largest majority of the store, the choice of “Play” seems strange. Ultimately though, I am probably reading far too much into this!

Could the change cause confusion and hurt the “Play Market” in the long run? Probably not. Only those who never use the market in the first place could be confused, but for those who spend hours every week hunting for the newest apps (as I imagine my readers do), the change will not cause any long term dis-orientation. The change is also an obvious sign from Google that they are looking to take on the all-encompassing nature of iTunes, under a singular and united banner. In that regard, the re-brand is great, as long as Google sticks with it. The key will be to keep current branding intact and give users a chance to get use to the new branding.



 
Most android users should already have noticed the changes, but if you haven't there is no need to fear you are missing out on anything substantial. As stated, this is largely a re-brand, with the actual look and feel of the "Play Store" being identical to the older Market, other than some minor changes to colouring, and the obvious changes to app. Overall when the re-branding is combined with the very smooth app that is the “Play Store”, Android devices are now an even better place to satisfy all your content seeking needs. I used to be jealous of iPhone users and their App Store, but those days are long gone, with the Play Store now being a truly superior and versatile product.

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Social Bookmarks: the easiest way to access all your social networks

Today's app of the day is Social Bookmarks



Social Bookmarks is a great way to easily access all of your favourite social network sites. If you are sick of having 10 - 15 different social apps installed on your phone, Social Bookmarks is the solution for you, allowing you to easily access the popular services from within a single app.
Sites currently included are: - Facebook
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