Few Time Warner Cable subscribers can watch live TV on Android phones

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Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said that it will begin to deliver live video to subscribers with mobile phones and tablets based on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android 4.0 operating system by the end of May, but that few subscribers may be able to use its TWC TV app to watch live TV on Android devices.

Time Warner Cable Android ICS app

TWC's live app for Android.

While Time Warner Cable already offers dozens of live TV channels to pay TV subscribers using Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad and iPhone, Google's Android 4.0, which has the code name Ice Cream Sandwich, is the only Android operating system that "allows us the security and stability necessary to distribute video" over the MSO's private network, Time Warner Cable director of digital communications Jeff Simmermon wrote in a blog post.

"Developing an iOS live video product for Apple devices is much easier. There's only one OS, made by the same company that also manufactures its own devices," Simmermon said. "Developing our video product for Android is not unlike tweezing one's eyebrows while using a disco ball for a mirror. We're going to get there, but it's going to happen one facet at a time," he added.

Just 3 percent of all Android phones and tablets are running Ice Cream Sandwich, including the Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) Xoom tablet, according to the Android Developers blog. Motorola and other manufacturers are expected to upgrade other devices to Android 4.0 later this year.  

Time Warner Cable began distributing live video to subscribers using Apple's iPad last year, and expanded availability to the iPhone in January.

While some Time Warner Cable subscribers using Android devices may be frustrated at the inability to watch live TV through the TWC TV app, subscribers can watch on-demand videos from several content providers using TV Everywhere applications such as HBO Go and WatchESPN.

For more:
- see Time Warner Cable blog post

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