Most of us now watch drama, comedy, film and sport online and on-demand, in a format that allows us to skip forward and rewind at will. We’re no longer tied to schedules, no longer reliant on DVRs to untie us from those schedules, and no longer bound by the advert breaks those DVRs helped us to avoid.
Unfortunately, news hasn’t joined the party. We still watch live broadcasts in the traditional, inflexible way, and in so doing, we sit through plenty of headlines of no interest. This is a crazy situation for a form of programming which is, perhaps, the most subject critical. The main reason for this illogical status quo is convenience; switching on your TV is easy, but watching news online is not.
This is the problem that Watchup wants to solve. The idea is to draw content from some of the world’s most respected news outlets into one, autoplaying stream, which adapts to match your taste. But does the execution meet the appealing theory?
VLC has had a turbulent history on iOS, having already been released before being removed due to a disagreement on the compatibility of VLC’s open-source development with the licensing and DRM that Apple places upon all apps listed on the App Store.
After an absence of a couple of years, VLC is now back in the App Store but this time, it’s here to stay. Let’s take a look at one of the most popular cross-platform media playback apps, now available on iOS.
How on earth have we become so addicted? To online video, I mean. According to comScore, Americans alone watched 41 billion videos in May 2013. This figure is remarkable on its own, but it seems even more so when you consider that the market-leader — or monopolizer, some may say — YouTube, is only eight years old.
Given the solidity of YouTube’s dominance, and the continuing growth of the online video market, it seems likely that Google‘s video goliath will continue to corner the market for some time to come. It is starting to show its age, though. We live in a world that is rapidly adopting online television as its favoured form of audiovisual entertainment, and although YouTube’s sprawling network provides diversity, it does not provide an ideal environment for the passive viewer. Equally, YouTube’s design has barely changed in years, with only a few Cosmic Panda-inspired tweaks providing some kind of refinement. Even the most hardcore YouTuber could hardly call the site, and its associated apps, pretty.
Rockpack, a new video-based iOS offering, is attempting to add a layer of its own polish on top of YouTube’s massive library of content. Within its stunning interface, Rockpack offers up YouTube’s content in a channel-focused way, as well as offering an independent, in-app video sharing network. Is a snazzy interface and a copycat network really enough to elevate Rockpack above its parent platform, though?
I’m sure I speak for quite a number of people here when I say that the default video player on the iPad really sucks. I’ve squirrelled it away in an Apple folder somewhere on the third or fourth home screen of my iPad because I don’t want its ugly logo and crappy features clogging up my home screen. Why is this, you are probably wondering? Apple designed the iPad as a multimedia device, yet they make it incredibly difficult to watch your own videos on your device, without having to buy them off the iTunes Store first. On my old Android tablet, I used to whack everything onto a mini SD card, stick it in and press Play on my media player. Sorry to put my loyalties elsewhere, but that experience was a whole lot smoother.
Although there are hundreds of video apps out there on the App Store, a large number of them have horrible, blocky interfaces that look like they’ve been thrown together in a couple of minutes over a cigarette break. What I love in apps is a great design — a clean, crisp interface — as this shows the developers pride themselves both on the looks and functionality of their app. And I think that Infuse ticks both of these boxes. Let’s find out, shall we?
From the early 1960s, mobile TV viewing was a dream, soon to be fuelled by the Space race, and by the early 1970s, investors such as Panasonic and Sinclair Research began to make it a reality. Fast forward to today and we have a myriad of channels and seemingly unlimited content.
One provider stands out over all the rest, especially in the UK — that of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). Its content provision has consistently given us quality material, and expert presenting. What, then, of it’s flagship iPhone product (currently only available in the UK), BBC iPlayer? In an era where mobile video content is the norm and easily accessible, lets take a look to see how BBC iPlayer allows the wonderful transition from corner-of-the-room viewing to quality media content anywhere. (more…)
There are two things that I do the most with my iPad. Either I’m reading a comic book or watching a movie. It’s a great way to watch something from my iTunes library without using the resources on my Mac. That, and both activities are great when I travel.
So what about you? Do you ever watch movies or video on your iPad, or is your iPad used for other stuff? Let us know in the poll to the right!
Every so often I’ll be out at an event, or maybe just watching TV, and I’ll see someone using their iPad either to take video or a still shot. And I think to myself, “Why are they doing that?” To me, it looks like you’re holding a clipboard in front of your face, and it’s just not quite as svelte or nice as it would be with your iPhone or dedicated camera.
But maybe that’s just me. What do you think? Do you use your iPad to take pictures or shoot videos? Let us know in the comments to the right!
When Apple decided to remove the YouTube app in iOS 6, I can’t say I was very heartbroken. The app was rarely updated, didn’t function very well and was a tad lacking in features. Nevertheless, if you upgraded to iOS 6 when it was first released near the end of September, you’ve either had to use Safari (or another browser app) or one of the many unofficial YouTube apps (Jasmine being the best option) to get your video content; that is, until now.
In a recent update to the iPhone version, the official third-party YouTube app finally gained iPad support. After spending some time with the app, I’m ready let you know if it’s been worth the wait. (more…)
The Wider Image, from Reuters, is one of the most interesting iPad apps to come from the news category in quite some time. Initially, I wrote it off as “just another” photography app like The Guardian Eyewitness (which is also brilliant, in case anybody is wondering), but after spending some serious time with the app, I can say that The Wider Image is an entirely different beast.
The Wider Image presents news stories from around the world using mostly images, but occasionally presents audio and video as well. What separates the app from other like-minded photography news apps is the level of interaction it offers you with the media. Instead of bringing up-to-the-minute news updates, The Wider Image wants to bring you carefully-chosen articles designed to take full advantage of your iPad’s touch-centric capabilities. (more…)
I own a pretty decent amount of movies. Not nearly as some of my friends, but my collection fills up two DVD shelves and a bookcase. When you own that many flicks, it’s rather difficult keeping tracking of everything you own. I’ll sometimes find myself in stores looking at a movie and wondering if it’s already sitting on my shelf at home waiting to be watched.
A few of my compadres manage their movie collection using spreadsheets, which certainly works, but doesn’t really provide the best user experience. If I want to know if the Zombieland is already in my collection (silly, I know, because it’s a must have), I don’t want to scroll through a long list of titles to find out. Luckily, that’s where My Movies comes into play. Find out after the jump why managing your movie collection has never been easier. (more…)