The PBS app, first released on the iPad in late October, is now available for the iPhone. Now you can watch your favorite PBS shows (full length episodes to boot) like Antiques Roadshow on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Here are some of the programs you can expect with the app:
- PBS primetime programs: Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, History Detectives, Masterpiece, Nature, Need to Know, Nova, Secrets of the Dead, and more.
- PBS NewsHour segments.
- Austin City Limits song performances.
- Special clips and full-length episodes from the PBS special CIRCUS.
- Original online series, including Nova ScienceNOW’s “Secret Life of Scientists” and “FutureStates” from INDEPENDENT LENS.
PBS is FREE to download, and the fact that it comes with more than 300 videos for your viewing pleasure, makes this one sweet deal for fans of the network.
For the longest time, one of the arguments by Apple haters against getting an iOS device had been the lack of support of 3rd party video formats. Of course, the native H.264 mp4 is arguably one of the best codecs out there, providing unsurpassed quality/size compression ratio. But still, there are a LOT of videos out there and, unfortunately, not everyone moves with the times with most of the low-def stuff available in AVI (usually XviD) and hi-def in MKV. But thankfully, that’s all changed as we finally have apps like AVPlayer – the answer to many an iOS user’s cries of despair.
Before I started writing for TMA, what I mostly used my iDevice during those hour long commutes was watching videos. Having a couple of hours a day to catch up on my favourite TV series and movies was certainly a much better alternative than staring at those poor sods sitting across from me. But one of the problems I constantly bumped into was content – converting videos was both a hassle and required a lot of laptop time and additional space. And let’s not forget that I still had to remember to upload the video files onto on my iPhone afterwards. If I only had Air Video then…
VLC Media Player first released back in September, though this free app that can read just about any video file on the market was only available for the iPad. For all you hardcore VLC users, the good news is that it’s just been updated and now runs on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and newer iPod Touches. Aside from device support, here is what’s new in v1.1:
- You can now delete files from the application, without having to go through iTunes
- Many more extensions are being recognized.
- Much faster decoding thanks to assembly optimizations
If you have plenty of video files you’d like to watch on your iDevice (and you like nothing more than freebie apps), be sure to download the latest update from the App Store.
APPLIDIUM, VLC Media Player, 8.9 MB – Free
Apple has just updated their massively popular Remote app to version 2.0. Among the changes, the app now supports the Retina display of the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4, as well as the larger screen of the iPad. Shared libraries on iTunes and support for the new Apple TV is also part of the update. For those not familiar with Remote, the app basically allows you to control iTunes and Apple TV from anywhere in your home via Wifi. Here are some of its features:
- Pause, rewind, fast forward, shuffle, and adjust the volume from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
- View album, movie, and TV show artwork
- Create and update Genius playlists
- Create and edit playlists in iTunes
- Search your entire iTunes library
- Control iTunes to send music to AirPlay speakers
- Control the volume on each speaker independently
- Control Apple TV with simple finger gestures
I’ve installed the update on my iPad and it looks fab; the interface has a very iTunes feel to it and all the essential controls are at your fingertips. Listening to music in my living room with the iPad in hand has just become that much more fun. If you rely on Remote for your music/videos, be sure to grab the update now.
Apple Inc., Remote, 14.8 MB – Free
For all you video junkies out there, this is definitely worth mentioning. VLC, a free and open source media player that can handle just about any codec, has now made its way onto the App Store. The all-in-one media player has been a favorite of mine for many years and it’s pretty much an essential application on both my Desktop and Macbook. While I’ve been using OPlayer HD over the past month or so to watch video files on my iPad, it’s great to finally see VLC submitted (and approved) by Apple.
Just don’t expect the app to be as robust as the desktop client. At the moment, it’s pretty bare bones and you’ll only find controls for playback. Regardless, it’s free and iPad users will no longer have to first convert avi/divx files before watching their video collection on the go.
APPLIDIUM, VLC Media Player, 8.9 MB – Free
Tobias Thomsch may be an artist, but his business sense is keen. Cervo Media hooked up with Tobias in outing Magic Pictures HD, an entertainment app that gets you in touch with art and the artist. I’ve been playing around with Magic Pictures HD for a few days and have formed a very terse opinion of it as a unique, if quieting digital experience.
Everybody uses avatars. Whether you IM, troll forums, or even comment on this review, social networking avatars are everywhere. That little image is your greeting to the world. For some, avatars are just small images of their real selves, for others they are used to show their love or support for various things. Whatever the case may be, we all use them – that is unless you want to blend into the background. The WeeMee Avatar Creator that we announced in February is a great avatar creator that’s been getting some much-deserved attention.
Kudos to DaringFireball for finding this lovely example of how the iPad can be used for content creation. The portrait, which used Steve Sprang’s Brushes, took 3 hours, but this YouTube video has mercifully been sped up to a blinding 10 minutes. While not exactly DIY, the works of artists like David Kassan and Michael Koerbel are inspiring in other ways.
For reference, check out TouchMyApps’ review of Brushes for the iPhone.
Seller: Steve Sprang , Brushes – iPad Edition – $7.99
Steve Sprang, Brushes – iPhone Edition – $4.99
Thanks to the blokes and blokets at Yanko Design, The App Machine’s visions for a darker, richer future have been netted. I’ve only recently turned to lord coffee myself, but already I realise how important the Italian software house’s brainchild is. Today, Make Coffee is just an entertainment app, but tomorrow it could have a real wireless coffee maker to match.
Thanks Yanko Design