Its more of a question why Now TV won't allow it to be a support device. Much like Amazon Fire Sticks are not a "supported" device.
If they are serious about the streaming game, then they NEED to get the app on as many devices as possible. Lets look at Netflix and iPlayer for example, both are on every device as far as I am concerned and millions of people use them for that very reason, no restrictions on the devices they have to use to watch the content.
Lets remember that only recently Netflix joined Now TV and Sky devices, Now TV devices aka Roku had Netflix and plenty of other apps for years. But for some stubborn reason Sky decided to restrict the devices.
I appreciate what you are saying but one of the current problems with the service is they have obviously spread themselves too thinly.
Its well documented here that the AppleTV app is 4 years out of date and woefully inadequate for the NowTV experience.... people are impatiently waiting for it to be updated.
The idea that a development team with finite resources and finite personnel should develop for each and every platform that appears on the market is frankly unrealistic.
I think that they should actually rationalise the number of native apps that they develop and support as we are currently experiencing significant functional disparity across supposed "supported" devices. This is not fair for the consumer as if they have a "supported" device its reasonable for them to expect FULL functionality and an identical user experience. This is NOT the case right now. Now TV love to publicise how many platforms the app is available on.. .however they dont make it clear that only *some* are "fully" supported.. kept up to date.. and can use the boost function.
Of course they should support their own Roku/NowTV hardware platform... but aside from that I can only see sense in developing for iOS devices (universal apps that work on AppleTV too), Android Devices, and at a push xBox/Playstation (I only include them as there are millions of potential customers on those platforms - however the navigation and user experience on them is horrible).
I do believe that they should not even bother supporting various "built in" TV operating systems as there are just too many to have to keep track of.
maybe their time would be better spent on some kind of "casting" functionality - so you use the app on your phone to play and then its reflected on the TV. The iOS iPhone app already has a 'casting' function if you have a NowTV box (though I never see the point of that if you have both you will be using the NowTV box anyway).
Thanks for the reply Gavs - but do you know the actual reason why their Android native app, cannot be used on Sony smart TV's?
It states quite clearly here:
that this works on all Android devices, except; "..rooted Android devices or devices running CyanogenMod."
Disagree with the casting suggestion entirely. All this will do, is introduce the possibility of lag and buffering/pixelation issues by introducing needless hurdles between the content source and the eventual display.
I have two NowTV white boxes - they're not great, and regularly buffer streaming content (particularly Sky Sports) despite us having a 70mb fibre line and top of the line Draytek router kit. A native app, would help to reduce / eliminate this be removing the needless hurdle of a Roku box or stick and feed the stream directly into the TV for display.
Still, NowTV don't really have much of a nack of getting apps right do they really? The BBC and ITV apps in the white Roku boxes are pretty much unusable for navigation and playback purposes.
@AD6 I appreciate that casting isnt ideal...
but neither is neglecting apps and platforms.
As I said, maybe just drop support altogether - or put more people into the development teams.
I felt that when they rolled out the Boost add-on, it should have been done across all platforms at once... instead you fond yourself using kit that isnt really fully supported.
That being said, the device you use has a huge impact on your experience. I am an AppleTV user (well, id like to be but thats another story for another thread) and the user experience there across all apps is pretty much flawless - the hardware is fast, the interface smooth and responsive... and comparing that to the NowTV Box I am forced to use as a stop-gap until they sort out the AppleTV app it is like night and day.
Of course the £20 NowTV/Roku box cannot possibly be compared spec-wise to the AppleTV but you do certainly get what you pay for.
I have tried sideloading the now tv app for android and it doesn't work (ie there's some validation that stops it being loaded on my TV). I think I've read sideloading to generic Android TV boxes also doesn't work. Given the layout of the android app vs the now tv / roku box format I'd have thought it relatively easy to accommodate the android TV launcher in the android app so not clear why they prioritise Samsung and LG over Android TV.
There was a thread that mentioned an android tv trial but don't think that ever happened.
I can't understand it either - how many millions of Android TV's must Sony sell worldwide every year?
If I was Sky/Now TV - I'd want my app on every Sony TV if at all possible. How much revenue must they be missing out on?
It's just stupid.
I think we need to remember the whole sky/nowTV business model.
Sky/NowTV are a reseller of content in the main. Their catalogue of content is very small in comparison to Netflix/Disney and therefore they need 3rd party content to buy and resell.
If they made a NowTV app for Android they are relinquishing the reliance on their operating system/box. You could use your TV and natively subscribe to other providers.
I think in the short term this would lead to a loss in revenue.
So it makes sense for them to sell the boxes/sticks and get you to buy content through them. They make a margin on other providers content as users stick to one system to get all their content.
You argument is logical and, I must say, very sensible, something a lot of users just so not consider when pondering why Sky/Now TV seem so anti-android.
However, there is one more point to add to your list, Sky/Now TV don't believe android is secure enough an O/S to protect their content, whether their own or leased, from being pirated. And so they have gone to enormous lengths, including zapping beneficial but non-supported facilities, that possibly hold any hint of letting in pirates.
Simply put, this company will go to any lengths to protect their investment, even at the risk of upsetting some of their customers.
Finally, current and future customers should realise that when buying into Sky/Now TV facilities, both hardware and software, they are buying into a heavily restricted ecosystem.
If that logic were completely sound, they wouldn't have developed Android apps for Samsung / LG TV's.
Nor, would they presently have an app in the Google Play store right now.
It is worth also remembering, that the NowTV box isn't theirs either. It is a licensed rip-off of the Roku streaming box, which can be purchased or the same cost (£30 approx in the UK), which has a modified UI to suit their needs.