Mizuu on “Android L” and Android TV

Hi guys!

As I’m sure many of youย already know, Google previewed their next version of Android today. It’s called “Android L” for now and it introduces some radical design changes.

Google also announced Android TV, which looks very exciting. This is a use case that’s very relevant to Mizuu, so I’m obviously intrigued to get a closer look at this. I’ve been looking to ditch support for the aging Android 3.2 – which is mainly used on Google TV at the moment – at a later point in time and Android TV is definitely helping me make that decision easier.

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I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m super excited about the changes and that I’ll be sure to have Mizuu updated in time for the official release. There’s a ton of new changes and exciting stuff to do, so I might not have everything ready at launch, but just know that I’m aware of all the changes and super excited about it.

I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts on which new features of Android L you’d like to see integrated or used in Mizuu, so please let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

world-of-content

14 Comments

  1. I hadn’t even realised you supported Google TV! I disconnected mine a few months ago and haven’t plugged it back in since. So few apps worked on it, I just gave up. I might have to dig it out again now that I know Mizuu works on it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll have to remain cynical about Android TV for the time being. They could have just continued moving Google TV forward, and the fact that they didn’t is frustrating. The biggest problem appeared to be that there was no NDK(?) support.

    The improved Chromecast also looks interesting. Is there a simple way you can think of even now to use Mizuu to browse your video library on your phone/tablet and then cast the actual content to the chromecast? I’ve held back on Chromecast too for the moment just because I’d already tried too many different TV solutions and not been happy with any of them. I guess it’s just a case of finding the right video player that can Chromecast and that would then work nicely.

    Reply
    • Hi Rob!

      Yeah, the lack of an NDK was indeed the main reason why it failed. No NDK = no proper video codec support. I’m pretty excited about Android TV, though. It seems like they have some cool stuff on the development side of things.

      Speaking of codecs, that’s really the biggest issue with Chromecast at the moment. Codec support is fairly limited, so a sender application should be able to re-encode the content on the fly in order to be very useful. That’s something that’s extremely hard to do and I personally have no experience in that field.

      You can – sort of – use Chromecast with Mizuu at the moment. It just requires a third party application that intercepts the playback intent and makes the connection to Chromecast. It works with local content and UPnP content. SMB content doesn’t work as it’s a bridged connection already.

      Reply
      • Hm, yeah, it’ll certainly be interesting to see. They seem to have pretty good support on the hardware side. Not just people like Sony, but newcomers to the Android arena like Razer. It’s just such a complicated market at the moment though, particularly with WebOS taking off and being very well received.

        My last device in this area was the Madcatz MOJO. I had high hopes for it, but because it didn’t have touchscreen support in any way most apps on Google Play just weren’t configured to be compatible in their manifests, even though they’d technically work if you could get past that. Root mostly fixed that, but mine hasn’t been the same since…. Hopefully there’ll be no such issues with Android TV.

        Reply
  2. Hey Michell,

    Here is what I would appreciate the most in terms of design of the app. To me, the new design theme is very nice but I think the most delightful change are the transitions. The demo music and photo app looked really stunning. I think transitions like that would take Mizuu to the next level in terms of design…

    Reply
    • That’s one of the first things I’ll look into ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. Hi Michell!

    Any news on the progress with Mizuu for Android TV? I am currently contemplating moving to Plex as the interactivity in their apps is pretty great. With this I mean the ‘on deck’ and ‘current videos’ pages etc. It would however require quite an expensive hardware upgrade as my current NAS is not powerful enough to run Plex. Additionally I really do prefer Mizuu as far as UI is concerned, so I’d really rather keep using it. I am aware that since Mizuu uses an external video player some of the features Plex has are not possible, but can you give us some indication of where Mizuu on Android TV will be heading as far as new or TV specific features go?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi!

      It’ll be out when Android TV devices are out.

      TV specific features? Well, that’s hard to say. I don’t know how it’ll be used or what’s expected of apps on the platform. I don’t think any Android TV apps will be perfect at launch. I’d love to know what you (and others) think would be useful on the TV compared to on a mobile device.

      Reply
  4. Thanks for the suggestion! That looks like something I could be using. That being said, I’ve been using Mizuu from the very beginning and I’d like to keep using it for some time to come :).

    As far as new features go, something like the following would be great:

    1) More interactive UI: I think the UI is very nice. I would change some things slightly (such as the drop down menus with 10+ items), but for the most part it’s both beautiful and easy to navigate. It’s a great base. What would be nice though is a more interactive way of presenting media. For instance, if I’ve been watching Fargo S01E09 last Tuesday, having Mizuu present me episode 10 on some sort of home screen the next time I open the app would be nice. Next to that, Game of Thrones S04E07, of which I watched episode 6 three weeks ago (like that would ever happen, but still ;)), etc., etc. That way I don’t have to navigate through 5 screens when Mizuu already knows which episode I watched last and which ones I’m likely to watch next. The same is goes for movies; maybe the most recent added movies on the watchlist or something? I assume this is what the Android TV recommendation system sort of works like. If none of those episodes or movies is what you’re after, you could still go in the database thats already there in the current version of Mizuu and look it up.

    2) For Android TV, it would be great if I could use the phone version as a sort of remote. The phone version is a great way to beautifully index the movies I have, but not much else for me since it’d be a waste watching something on a five inch screen when you have a 42 inch screen standing around. Sending it to Chromecast would be nice except it doesn’t work half of the time because of a lack of codec support. Android TV can fix that.

    I know this probably already works when using something like BubbleUPnP, but that is not really a beautiful solution since you’re then using not just two but three separate apps to watch a video (Mizuu, BubbleUPnP and MX Player for instance) plus you’re leaving the Mizuu environment and switching to BubbleUPnP after the video is through. If there is a way for Mizuu on my phone and Mizuu on Android TV to work together, meaning I’m going back into Mizuu after watching a video, that would be awesome. This would also be what I’d have against something like Amphitheatre: although it looks great, I’d actually love to unite my media and not use a plethora of different apps to enjoy it.

    Anyhow, I once again want to emphasize I love your work on Mizuu. For me, there still isn’t anything that comes close in terms of sheer beauty. The fact is, I love it so much that I hate using anything else. That might be why I’m trying to get you to do everything in one app ;). I realise that this is probably quite impossible, but it’s worth a try.

    Thanks for listening to your users!

    Reply
    • 1) Excellent! That’s the kind of stuff I was thinking as well.

      2) That’ll be very easy since Google have an official remote control app for Android TV.

      I’ve been looking at making it possible to do Chromecast support. I’ve actually already registered the app – now I just need to do the development stuff (which is much, much harder!). Anyway, yeah – it’s fairly high on my list of priorities.

      Reply
      • That is great to hear! To clarify: what I meant with the remote thing was more something like how Yatse works with XBMC. For Mizuu that could mean: looking for a movie on my phone, sending it to Android TV (or Chromecast) which enables my tv over HDMI CEC and I can start watching straight away. No need to navigate through anymore menus on my big screen using the Google remote app.

        Anyhow, I’m really looking forward to the next release, keep it up!

        Reply
        • Yeah, I was afraid of that being what you meant. That is much, much harder to do. It’ll literally take months to implement. And even then, it won’t be perfect, since you’d only be able to control Mizuu – in other words, you’d have no control over the video player, since that’s not built in.

          Reply
          • That makes sense. Ah well, I’ll be more than happy with all the stuff you told me already. ๐Ÿ˜› I’m really, really looking forward to it. I’ll leave you to it now ;). Best of luck!

            Reply
  5. Hi!! Where can i find the android tv app for mizuu?? Thanks

    Reply

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