Devoid of decent multimedia players for the longest time, the iOS saw a tidal wave of such apps hit the App Store with the release of the iPad and iPhone 4. With the hardware finally up to the task of managing the real-time decoding of the wide array of video formats available today, we’ve seen everything from UPnP streaming AirPlayer to the short-lived incarnation of the crossplatform legend VLC, to the jailbreak-only XBMC. But one thing still out of reach has been smooth HD playback, especially for MKV encoded video. Until GPlayer hit the scene that is.
GPlayer is built for one purpose only – to play any kind of video out there utilizing the power of your iDevice to the max. So if you’re the lucky owner of an iPad 2, this means the state of the art dual-core A5 processor.
The basics have pretty much been covered by developers Ginkgo Tech. GPlayer successfully chewed through each and every video I had at my disposal without even noticing so much as a hiccup on a 720p MKV, though I did have to use the iPad 2 and enable the dual-core mode in the settings to achieve that. The other stuff, including all manner of Flash video, DivX and XViD, and even WMA and RTM files worked flawlessly on my iPhone 4; granted they were all SD in format.
In their quest to get the power player out ASAP, the developers have skipped a lot of other features however. The only way to get the files into GPlayer is either the clunky iTunes file-sharing or the awfully slow Open In… method from any other app on your iDevice. In theory GPlayer also supports HTTP/FTP streaming but you’ll have to manually edit the link to add a special prefix. RTSP or MMS streams are also supported, but good luck finding them. Oh yeah, and no TV-Out available, though iPad 2 users should theoretically be able to use the HDMI-out mirroring to get the picture on the big-screen TV.
The interface of GPlayer is quite basic, with a single view consolidating all files. No folders available, so be sure to keep a track of your shows and/or movies. The thumbnails and general file info help, though they are only updated after you open the video file for the first time. Overall there’s no way you can get confused using GPlayer because of one single reason: there simply aren’t enough features to warrant any kind of a complicated interface.
Overall if you’re desperate to watch HD videos on your iPad 2, Gplayer is definitely worth your time and attention. Unfortunately if you’re looking for something more — the lack of even the most basic features, such as TV-Out support or Wi-Fi video transfer — certainly limits the player’s usefulness. Not to mention that there are a number of similar apps out there that are more fully featured, all for the same price or less.
With this I declare GPlayer officially touched!
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.01||Min OS Req:||3.2|