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CNET Update: Roku 3 streaming box rocks new features

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CNET Update: Roku 3 streaming box rocks new features

2:52 /

The latest Roku puts a new spin on the remote, Google+ sports a new design ahead of Facebook, and Foap will pay you for pictures.

-The Roku is leaving Apple TV in the dust. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. There's a new Roku streaming box out now. The Roku 3 costs $99, same as the previous Roku XS model, but this upgrade has a faster processor and it comes with headphones that you can plug into the remote so you can listen to your shows in private without bothering other people in the room. It also has a new interface that makes it easier to scroll through channels. Now, you see nine channels at once compared to five on the old menu. And the older Roku models will also be seeing this new menu in April. If you're unfamiliar with the Roku, there are hundreds of apps on the streaming box. You can access your subscription services like Netflix and Amazon. You can watch free videos such as on the CNET channel and there are even some games you can play with the remote. If you don't already have a game console at home and you wanna stream video to your TV, the Roku is a great way to dive into that world. If you do have a Roku and you happen to be a Time Warner Cable subscriber, the Roku can replace your cable box on your secondary TV. There's a Time Warner Cable channel on the Roku that just came out, and if you plug in your subscriber info, you can access all your live TV channels. The only thing is that you don't get a channel guide and you don't get to pause and rewind or get On Demand, but it beats paying a monthly fee to rent another cable box. Google+ launched a layout redesign. Of course, it's right before Facebook announces its redesign. Google+ now has larger cover photos. The About tab has separate fields you can edit and there's a new tab for local reviews, so you can list your favorite restaurants. Facebook will launch its new look Thursday, but early reports suggest the change will be how you can sort your newsfeed to look through just photos or just the updates about music. So, that way, you can discover more posts and hang around longer. Last year, Google relaunched the Android market under the name Google Play and to celebrate the one-year anniversary, it's offering a week of deals and discounts on magazines, books, videos, music, and apps. So, be sure to check that out. And also keep your eye on the app called Foap, like soap but with an "F." It pays users for taking photos, but it just stepped up its game with a feature called "Missions." Companies send users on a mission to take a specific photo of something and the best photos get cash surprises. It's a cheap way for a brand to get lots of creative photos of customers using their products, but that reward better be good for people to make it worth their time. That's your tech news update. You can find more details on all these stories at the blog cnet.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.
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