You won’t be able to subscribe to HBO Now directly from HBO

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HBO officially announced their standalone streaming service, dubbed HBO Now, a couple of weeks ago. It will run $14.99 per month, but the perception was that you could just sign up directly from HBO and you won’t need a cable subscription. While the latter might be true, the former isn’t.

Apparently you will have to sign up through one of their partners. Now we already know that Apple is a partner as they are supposed to have a 3 month exclusive with Apple TV, but users will sign up for the monthly service through iTunes. Furthermore, Cablevision has just signed up as a partner and will offer HBO Now to their Optimum internet customers. So again, users will need to buy HBO Now through Cablevision, but they don’t need a cable subscription. It’s likely other cable companies will start offering HBO Now to those that subscribe to their internet services as well.


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Say goodbye to bloatware #2: The Galaxy S6 allows you to remove (most) pre-installed apps

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One of the things that users frequently complain about smartphones is the amount of pre-installed apps, or bloatware if you will. It’s something that is present on many handsets, with Samsung’s offerings being one of the worst offenders thanks to its own suite of Galaxy Apps that come pre-installed. There are signs though that users will be able to say goodbye to bloatware from the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets thanks to a post on the XDA Forums by Jeshter2000, who has managed to get his hands on a Galaxy S6 Edge running pre-release firmware.
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[New Android TV App] Jamjitsu gives everyone at your party the power to add songs, videos, and photos to your playlist

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Here’s a new app that’s likely to liven up your next party. Jamjitsu brings Nexus Q-type functionality to your Android TV, but offers more features. With Jamjitsu, you create a master playlist that all your friends can now connect to as well. Anyone can add music from Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud and YouTube to the playlist. Your friends can even add photos and other (non music) videos from YouTube as well.

Now I know that at least half your guests will be sporting an iPhone, and the good news is that they can share in on the fun too since the app is also available in iTunes. The app works by everyone joining “The Party”, which then sends the info to your Android TV device. That is why iPhone users can join in since they aren’t communicating directly with your Android TV device, just the online playlist. Your guests (Android or iOS) don’t even need to be on your Wi-Fi.


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Amazon’s Unlocked program will make paid apps and games free

amazon-accounts-hackedAmazon will reportedly kick off a new program for their App Store soon, called Unlocked. The Unlocked program essentially takes paid apps and games, and ones with in-app purchases, and makes them completely free. Free to download, free to buy things in-game, and free to unlock extra features without spending a dime.

An internal presentation showcasing some of the functionality was leaked, showing off how users can sort out to only see Unlocked apps, and how it’ll look when users buy apps or make in-app purchases. This will all have to be done on Amazon’s own App Store, of course, but getting that installed isn’t too tough, even if Google yanked it from the Play Store
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TuneIn gets in the passenger seat with Android Auto support

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Listening to music or shows in the car is something that drivers have been doing for years. The forms of media consumption in the car evolved over time and today utilizing a mobile device is very popular. With various in-car platforms, companies want to bring together traditional listening and the options of a connected world. The latest service to support Android Auto is TuneIn, featuring a user interface optimized for driving. TuneIn says this means it will work in cars bundled with Android Auto as well as secondary devices with the operating system installed.


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Swipes productivity app now available for Android

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Users looking to improve their productivity have a new tool available on the Android platform to help them get to work on tackling their to-do list. Swipes was named a Best New Startup of 2014 by Evernote and has been receiving a favorable reception from users, quickly rising through the ranks to become a popular tool. The expansion to Android will help those who wanted to use Swipes unique gesture support for planning their tasks using a timeline.
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Drop the controller: Atari Fit arrives in the Play Store

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Prior to today, consumers would never associate Atari with health and fitness. The company has spent years in the video game industry but now sits quietly without much activity. Today, Atari has released an app to better the well-being of users. Atari Fit takes gaming elements and drops them into a health and fitness app. Individually or with friends, users earn points by completing a task or objective. These points can be used on items such as classic Atari games and additional workouts.

Atari Fit does feature compatibility with health and fitness aggregators such as Google Fit, Runkeeper, and Facebook.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.


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Samsung shares more details about Samsung Pay service

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Samsung has shared some more details about their forthcoming Samsung Pay service, including another confirmation that they will launch the service in the U.S. and South Korea this summer with Europe and China slated to follow. The good news is that Samsung Pay will be free of charge for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. The bad news is that Samsung’s latest information makes it unclear as to whether Samsung Pay will be available on other devices and if so, whether a fee will be attached to it.
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