It seems odd that the Android TV apps I liked the least were Google's own.
But nevertheless, it was. Sure, all my purchases are in Google Play Movies & TV and all my subscriptions are in YouTube, but pausing was a two-click job, and seeking with any precision was a nightmare. As someone who does a lot of rewinding and scene-skipping, that made my viewing more complicated, as I'd often overshoot my marks or stop short thanks to the seeking system in place.
Last week, Google began pushing out an update to its Play Movies & TV app for Android TV. It got rid of the complicated playback controls we had before and replaced them with a simple timeline and an option beneath for captions. Rather than tap back and forth between playback buttons then activate them with Enter/A, your simple tap left and right to seek and tap Enter/A to pause/play.
This makes rewinding just a few seconds a single tap on your remote, in case you just missed the last joke because someone was talking over the movie. It's great, it's glorious, and I've only got one question now: when is is coming to YouTube?
Yeah, YouTube still has the old controls, with its extra taps and its awkward seeking. YouTube is even worse because there's one or two carousels below the playback controls as well. I often accidentally switch videos when all I really wanted to do was restart my video. It's over-complicated. It's annoying. It needs to change.
The new playback controls from Play Movies & TV will fit in nicely with YouTube, in fact they're quite similar to the new timeline on the YouTube Android app. The new controls are also more in line with the controls we already know and enjoy in Hulu, Netflix and other streaming apps.
The other change in this update is minor; the Play Movies & TV app got a new banner for your home screen. Hooray! (Or not, if you preferred the old one.)
So what are you thoughts on the update? Any other binge-watchers out there rejoicing over the new controls?
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus hands on: Unfulfilled potential
Samsung refuses to lets its dream of Android tablets die, and the latest example of this is the Galaxy Tab S7+. It's an incredibly well-built gadget with premium specs galore, but is it enough to overcome the state of Android on a tablet in 2020?
Did you pre-order the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a seriously impressive device, and as of right now, pre-orders are open. Have you splurged for the phone yet?
If you're a true Note fan, the Note 20 Ultra is the only phone to get
The little differences may seem superfluous to the general smartphone buyer, but they mean a lot to someone who's historically been attracted to the Galaxy Note. Samsung itself reiterates constantly that the Note line is for the "power users" and the "Galaxy fans" — the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the only model that still embodies that mindset.
Best Universal Remote for NVIDIA Shield TV in 2020
The NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) is the best Android TV box you can get. You need a remote control that complements it.