Time Warner Cable to bring live video to 3% of Android users

“A product manager for Time Warner cable has announced that the company expects to finally bring a live video app to Android before Memorial Day, but the app will be limited to Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS) due to it being ‘the only version of the Android OS that allows us the security and stability necessary to distribute video over our private network,'” Electronista reports. “The cable giant created a live video app for iOS early last year.”

“Saying that developing a live video product for Android is like ‘tweezing one’s eyebrows while using a disco ball as a mirror,’ author Jeff Simmermon admitted that the challenge of coding the product for a wide range of devices did not compare favorably to iOS saying it was ‘much easier’ to develop a live video app on Apple’s platform,” Electronista reports. “The post expresses some frustration with the fragmentation aspects of Android, cautioning users that ‘it’s up to the device manufacturer or sometimes the data carrier when or if ICS will be deployed’ to their devices.”

Electronista reports, “Android 4.0 is thus far only on just under three percent of all Android devices, and while some devices are still awaiting updates, the majority — particularly those running on the 2.x version of Android — will likely never be updated, as carriers and manufacturers have a strong incentive to keep newer updates for newer devices, both to ensure the best experience as well as providing an inducement for users to keep upgrading hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Fragmandroid.

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Good Friday. As such, the U.S. financial markets are closed for the day. We will resume our normal posting schedule tomorrow.

Related articles:
‘Cox TV Connect’ app lets Cox cable subscribers watch live TV on Apple iPads – December 6, 2011
Time Warner Cable releases TWCable TV 2.0; now with over 100 channels – July 7, 2011
Cable TV subscribers love their cable TV iPad apps – April 29, 2011
Apple’s revolutionary iPad’s killer app: Live TV – April 9, 2011
Time Warner Cable first to launch iPad app that delivers live TV (Updated) – March 14, 2011


      1. Agreed. I think it was John Gruber who said, “Android isn’t a platform. It’s a framework for others to build a platform on top of”.

        With Amazon and now others forking their own flavor of Android, this will become more and more apparent to the average Joe.

        1. I’ve thought the same thing about the US military. They keep going with Android for phones (USAF did choose iPad for flight bags). I kept thinking, “Apple has higher quality; why don’t they see that?” However, if you actually look at what they’re doing, they’re “carving” an iPhone out of Android. They’re developing their own device running a version of Android they chose themselves, and upgrades (hopefully) happen on their terms, not some carrier.

          One device, one OS, one source – the whole widget. Even though they’re using Android, this tells us that, when it comes to something super mission-critical, Apple’s model is the best. It’s what they’re trying to recreate.

          1. There’s an enormous risk with this given that Android has gaping security holes. Why not just make a custom Linux phone OS instead of building on top of a dangerous one?

  1. Guess what, twilightmoon, we are already post-start of the end.

    My two daughters and wife are now happily using iPhone 4S models, after being Android users for years. I am going to upgrade as soon as the 4G LTE iPhone appears.

    By the way, I have kept my VZW unsupported obsolete Androids more or less up to date thanks to the hacker community. I could be running ICS on my Incredible right now if I really wanted to (but it is not presently ready for prime time in my opinion)

    1. Hi Tom,
      Don’t know about anyone else (obviously!) but I’d like to know your reasons. We know in the general. But hearing from actual users – a long-time Android family that has switched – could be interesting. Thanks.

    2. That brings up a good point. Android has been growing like crazy for the last 2 years, meaning we are about to see what these customers choose for their next phone when they purchase their 2nd smart phone.

      I’ve long help the belief that Android is like a “gateway drug” for iPhones. I think many Android owners were sold on the promise “it’s just like the iPhone”, and later learned they were lied to. I expect many of these customers will choose the iPhone for their next phone upgrade.

      Android has many issues, one of them being there is almost nothing “sticky” about it. Most Android users have very little (or nothing) invested in apps, music, videos, media, etc making it very easy to switch to another platform.
      The “stickiness” of Android will soon be tested when these customers decide what to get for their 2nd smart phone.

    3. The same force that puts the hurt on Android is the same that made it successful, and RIM before that: the carriers. People don’t chose android as a brand in large volume so much as get sold android devices by their carriers when they go to buy a phone. Very few people actively chose android, far fewer by orders of magnitude less than actively chose an iPhone.

      My feeling is Microsoft sees an opportunity here and quietly shoves a ton of money at carriers for them to up sell windows phones instead.

      That plus Apple will be even more aggressive going after more of the market this year on top of some potentially lethal legal blows, android is not going to have a good 2012.

  2. You know what aggravates me the most, as a developer, about video support in Android?

    It’s not that some Android devices support either H.264 Baseline Profile, or H.264 Main Profile, or both, or neither, or WebM or some other lame format.

    The thing that is really aggravating is that no Android device supports the Audio/Video canPlayType() Method correctly. This is an HTML5 standard, with the sole purpose of declaring what video formats and codecs a device supports. And in all of my testing, every single Android device screws this up somehow, not saying what formats it can play, and saying it can play formats it can’t. (This probably has to do with the software and hardware being made by difference companies, or general fragmentation.)

    I don’t mind that some mobile devices can play some video formats and not others – I understand it takes special hardware to play certain video codecs, and I can’t expect every device is going to have it. BUT – If Androids just supported the canPlayType method correctly like every other device, I could code it to use the right video format so it just works!

    The way it is now, it’s a ridiculous guessing game with Android video support. I can’t be bothered to waste my time on that just to make videos work on someone’s lame ass Android device.

  3. Meh. Try & say iPhone / iOS’s 6-month release reschedule and various left-behind devices aren’t also a fragmented ecosystem.

    MLB at-bat played live audio from ballgames like a dream on my iPhone for 2 years. Then… for no reason other than pushing the new hardware, 2010-2011 didn’t. iPhone 3G has been left behind by those now, too.

    1. It isn’t a fragmented ecosystem. There.

      A fragmented ecosystem would be if the iPhone userbase was split evenly between all the different iPhone models, and they had wildly differing hardware, and weren’t compatible with eachother so that developers would be forced to write a version of their software for the first iPhone model, and then the second, and then…

    2. iPhone 3G is about four years old now. Think about the feature phone days. Take one to a store for an update and they’d probably laugh at you. Two years of SW support for a phone is unheard-of. They’re still selling 3GS’s, so they’ll probably support those until about 2014. That’ll be five years full-support for a phone. Even 2013 would be amazingly long.

      I can’t think of a feature-phone I bought that wasn’t out of date when I bought it. Samsung (3x) / Nokia (2x) / Sanyo / Kyocera (2x) / Ericson

  4. “Android 4.0 is thus far only on just under three percent of all Android devices, and while some devices are still awaiting updates, the majority — particularly those running on the 2.x version of Android — will likely never be updated, as carriers and manufacturers have a strong incentive to keep newer updates for newer devices, both to ensure the best experience as well as providing an inducement for users to keep upgrading hardware.”

    It is interesting how this practice is an “inducement” for vendors of Android-based devices while Apple, which does a much better job of providing software updates and functionality enhancements for existing iOS devices, was thoroughly lambasted for not making Siri (a beta product) available for the IPhone 4. That’s not just a double-standard, it is complete hypocrisy.

  5. Meanwhile, in Microsoft news:
    They are PAYING developers, again, to write for their platform:

    Microsoft Is Writing Checks to Fill Out Its App Store

    …many developers are reluctant to funnel time and money into an app for what is still a small and unproved market. So Microsoft has come up with incentives…. The tactic underscores the strong positions of Google and Apple, neither of which have to pay developers to make apps.

    Spend Ballmer! Spend Spend SPEND!

  6. Of the 3 percent of Androids with Ice Cream Sandwich, how many of them actually have Time Warner cable? Way to underwhelm. It seems that Time Warner has always lagged behind when it comes to various apps and streaming options, look at all of their issues with HBOgo. I am so happy to have service from a progressive provider like DISH, my employer. They have always supported Android along with iOS. More importantly DISH has overcome the home network requirement that Time Warner and other providers still suffer from. With DISH Remote Access I can watch any live channel or DVR recording almost anywhere I go.

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