In yet another instance of ‘it’s a matter of when, not if,’ Comcast announced that it’s opening up its Xfinity TV application to Android mobile OS devices. Free to Comcast digital subscribers and available on the Android Market, the app in its first incarnation is essentially limited to search for content and view the results across media platforms — TV, cable, On Demand, online and on wireless/mobile devices. The ability to watch On Demand TV shows, movies and other video content on Android devices is coming soon, Comcast promises, and it can also be used to program DVRs.
Comcast debuted the Xfinity TV app back last November, but for the iPad, which runs on Apple’s competing iOS operating system. That’s been downloaded more than 1.3 million times, according to Comcast.
In addition to using an iPad as a TV (restricted to in-home use) or programming content guide, users can program their DVRs to record content, sort content according to various filters, including HD, New, Movies, Kids or Sports, and search listings by keyword.
“Android has a passionate, loyal and growing fan base who we believe will enjoy managing their Xfinity TV experience in the palm of their hand,” said Matt Strauss, senior vice president and general manager, Comcast Interactive Media. “This important launch is another key milestone in Comcast’s ongoing effort to provide Xfinity TV service on as many devices as possible including smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs.”
Comcast’s Xfinity service is a branded triple play experience, including Comcast’s TV Everywhere initiatives. Xfinity is really a branding strategy and a competitive response to Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-verse. All of these telecompetitors are building premium brands for their bundled broadband and entertainment enabled services, which increasingly extend to mobile and portable devices like those powered by Android.