The majority of connected HDTV owners believe video apps are critical, with 75 percent saying video apps are 'extremely' or 'very important' to their viewing habits. In addition to knowing which apps are available to watch, consumers also want to be able to easily discover new online content available to them.
"The importance of having core video aggregation apps such as Netflix and YouTube, has a lot to do with the convenience that allows consumers to easily access a multitude of programming options in one place," said John Buffone, NPD Group Connected Intelligence Executive Director, in a press statement. "The next wave of TV app user, however, is looking for a different experience than earlier adopters and is placing greater emphasis on TV Everywhere apps from their favorite networks."
The top 10 most important video and TV everywhere apps, according to NPD: Netflix, YouTube, The Weather Channel, HuluPlus, History, Amazon Instant/Prime Video, HBOGO, Fox News, PBS, and WatchESPN.
For those of you who have been borrowing your friends HBO Go accounts to watch its TV series can now watch them through Amazon Prime if you are a Prime member of course. Today Amazon announced that it has partnered with HBO to bring many of the company's most popular shows to its premium member service. Unfortunately Game of Thrones was not a part of the deal.
HBO says that The Sopranos, Eastbown & Down, Enlightened, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Rome, The Wire, and Flight of the Conchords will be available. Select seasons of Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, and Treme will also be available on Amazon Prime, but it is not clear how the selection process is handled. Additionally the early seasons of Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep will be included but only once they have passed the three-year anniversary of their first airing. This means that True Detectives will remain a HBO Go exclusive until 2017.
For the last month or so, Twitter has been testing out a new profile page with select users, and today the company has released its new profile design to all of its users. The complete overhaul has taken Twitter from what many considered to be an outdated design, to a more modern look and feel that is on par with Facebook and Google Plus.
The biggest thing you will notice is that the new Twitter profile now spans the full width of the page, and looks a lot like Facebook's Timeline. Users can now upload a large header image similar in size to what Google+ allows. Users also now benefit from a mosaic-view of their twitter post, but a chronological view is also available. Additionally, users can pin a single Tweet to the top of their feed, which allows them to keep important tweets at the top.
WhatsApp was involved in one of the biggest deals to hit the tech world on the last few years. Facebook purchased the app for $16 billion. That purchase made some fans of the app upset in part because Facebook doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to privacy. Despite angering some users, WhatsApp continues to grow under the Facebook umbrella.
WhatsApp has reached 500 million users according to the company. The company wrote, "Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we've grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day."
When it comes to set top boxes to bring steaming media to your big screen in the living room, some of the most popular products are the line of devices from Roku. For a long time Roku devices were missing access to one of the most popular streaming video portals online- YouTube.
In December of 2013, that changed when YouTube came to the Roku 3 set top box. That still left a lot of Roku fans unable to stream YouTube videos without slinging them over from a smartphone. Roku has announced this week that all current generation Roku devices now have access to the YouTube app.
Blu products has announced its latest smartphone has officially launched. The new smartphone is called the Studio 6.0 HD. The name of the device comes in part from the big HD resolution 6.0-inch screen with 245ppi. The smartphone is 8.5mm thick and uses a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.
Blu builds in support for 4G HSPA+ wireless networks and the rear camera is an 8MP unit with autofocus. Native resolution for the 6.0-inch screen is 720 x 1280. Android 4.2 is the operating system for the device and Blu says that an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat is coming at the end of May.
Nintendo has announced a new video game that will launch on the 3DS portable game console early next month called Mario Golf: World Tour. The official launch date for that game is May 2 and it will be supported on the Nintendo 2DS as well. At launch, the game will ship with ten golf courses to choose from.
Those ten courses will have 126 holes for gamers to play through. Nintendo is also building in a number of multiplayer modes including regional and worldwide tournaments. Nintendo will also be rolling out new DLC for the game with the first new content launching alongside the game on May 2.
A lot of smartphone owners out there who use the camera frequently are counting the days until smartphone cameras improve. Most of them work fine at closer distances, but if you are far away, you end up with subjects too small to see. What smartphones really need is a camera with optical zoom.
Samsung has offered an optical zoom camera in the past, but it wasn't very popular. Images of a new Samsung smartphone with optical zoom have leaked and the device is said to be called the Samsung Galaxy K. The big feature of this smartphone is that it has a 10x optical zoom lens and this is the first time the smartphone has been spied with the lens out.
Wicked Lasers is a company that makes all sorts of cool lasers that you can use for popping balloons, melting plastic, and star gazing. The company has announced one of its latest products that isn't a laser. This product is called the Flashtorch.
One glance at it and you think it's a rather standard looking flashlight. The Flashtorch is anything but a standard light. It produces 4100 lumens of light and has three settings that vary brightness. On high setting, the light can start fires. I would assume you need to place the light directly on whatever you want to burn.
Fisker is a car company that started about the time the US government began making loans to companies to create alternative energy cars and systems. Fisker took out a big loan and ended up going bankrupt before spending all the money. The automaker was recently purchased by a Chinese company called Wanxiang.
Wanxiang has announced that it hopes to have the Karma plug-in hybrid back on the road by mid-2015. Some things have to happen before Fisker starts producing cars again. It has to find a CEO and a new headquarters for the company. Both of those tasks are underway now.