gigatech2AT&T is set to battle Sling TV to sell over the web pay TV. Details are limited at this point but they are expected to provide multiple offerings. These packages will be sold nationwide starting Fall 2016.

“These new video subscription models reflect the flexible content choices, viewing options and simple, transparent pricing that consumers want. AT&T intends to be the first company to deliver that flexibility, along with an effortless customer experience,” said John Stankey, CEO – AT&T Entertainment Group.”

The good news is that the service will not be limited to AT&T subscribers. Anyone will be able to sign up online without a contract. With regards to the packages, AT&T says it will have three tiers. The full featured offering will be called “DirecTV Now” and will be just like traditional TV. The mid tier service will have a mobile first user experience, which implies less TV than the full package. There is also third, free tier, which will have an assortment of limited video to choose from.

So far there is no information on what content will be available. Based on the statement below, it appears that negotiations are ongoing:

Tony Goncalves, AT&T’s SVP of strategy for its entertainment group, says the company does have deals with some programmers. “We do have some deals in place. We’re not being specific about which ones, There’s no question we have work to do there.”

AT&T is a welcome entrant into a market. Apple and Google have both struggled to sign licensing deals with the network. AT&T might just pave the way for great competition.

gigatech1With Google IO just a few months away, the rumor mill has started on the changes in the upcoming N edition of Android. As the opening keynote of Google IO draws nearer we will start to see more images and larger leaks. Till then we will have to live with second hand accounts of those who have seen and try to recreate the current builds available internally. Here are a few of the rumors making the rounds:

App Drawer

This rumor has gotten the most publicity so far due to the potential similarity to Apples iOS. Android has always had a launcher which was widget capable. This was always a differentiator to iOS and it would be a big departure for Android. It also makes sense. The average user does not use widgets nor do they do any customization of their homescreens. If Google was to go ahead with the change in the final build, it will be a decision backup up by Googles internal data. For users who prefer the current setup, there are plenty of third party launchers available.

Notification Drawer

The next big change is to the notification shade. Android Police has seen this first hand and have posted mockups of the layout. It comes across as an improvement over the existing lollipop design both in form and in function. Here is the Android Police Description:

“The first thing you’ll notice is the notifications are full-width, and the separation between items is less distinct. Each item in the list also includes a line with the app that produced the notification. That information is available in the current notification UI, but you have to long-press to see it. Notifications also appear to be able to display some limited color text elements. App icons are smaller and less obvious as well.”

These are just two leaks that have come out. Based on these rumors it will not be surprising to see some larger changes. Android has been losing the higher end of the market to Apple for sometime now and will be looking to polish the OS to regain lost ground.