December 16, 2010 | by Michael Heller
Some of you may have heard of Chumby devices, personal Internet/media devices that strive to be a one-stop shop for all the information that you may want including social networks, news, video, music and games. There are Chumby apps covering most everything you want to consume. Chumby is moving to put their content hub on as many devices as possible and now it’s Android’s turn to come to the party. Their aim is “taking the best parts of the Internet and delivering them in a friendly, always-on, always-fresh format.”
The Chumby app costs $4.99 and only works on Android 2.2 and higher, likely because Chumby requires Flash 10.1 be installed on your device. So, be aware that although the Chumby Android app is less than one megabyte, Flash takes up close to eleven megabytes on your internal memory. There truly is a ton of content available through Chumby as you can see in their app guide, which includes over 1500 apps. The trouble I found is that none of the content is formatted for rectangular screens of phones and tablets, so there is big black letterboxing around the content. It’s a bit better in landscape mode, but it is still quite obvious that the content is not made for these devices.
Another trouble I had was that the app is fairly buggy. I had a couple force closes, but worse was that it would suddenly switch content for no reason. One time, I was watching the Thor trailer, and it cut off and suddenly switched to a checkers game, all without me ever touching my phone.
So, Chumby is a great source of content, but the app isn’t quite ready for prime time. If you want to check it out, it’s in the market now.