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 likeÂ AVPlayer â€“ the answer to many an iOS userâ€™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 â€“ 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 thenâ€¦
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.,Â 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,Â 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.
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
Pocket God appeared a little more than a year ago and provided users of the iPhone with quite an original pastime â€“ scoffing at a bunch of defenceless islanders, wreaking all sorts of havoc on the island and basically making their lives miserable. Since its original release, the developers have stayed true to their promise and released an update roughly every 2 or 3 weeks with added content. And when I saw Eyedip’sÂ Pocket Devil, I immediately thought â€“ â€œHey, this must be a sequel â€“ I have to check it out!â€ Oh, how wrong was I! Feel free to discuss this review of Pocket Devil in our forums.
MotionPortrait Inc, the bright minds behind the unique and innovative photo apps PhotoSpeak and HourFace, have taken their photo-to-animation technology and created ZombieBooth. With ZombieBooth, you can turn yourself or family/friends into blood-thirsting zombies:
MotionPortraitâ€™s cutting-edge technology takes a still photo and turns it into a living, breathing 3D movie that snaps and bays for brains right there on the iPhone screen.
Once you’ve selected your desired image from the camera roll, your “victim” will soon be turned into a 3D model of a zombie. You can then interact with your new friend by dragging a finger around the screen and even let him/her/it take a nibble or two! If you enjoyed MotionPortraits’ previous apps or always wondered what kind of zombie your ex would make, ZombieBooth is certainly worth a look. Video and more info after the gap.
MotionPortrait, Inc.,Â ZombieBooth: Alive in 3D photo – $0.99
Barcelona, Spain – Ivanovich Games today is pleased to announce the release of iDaze 9000 v1.2, an update to their hilarious audio feedback application for iPhone and iPod touch devices. iDaze 9000 uses advanced digital audio algorithms to create a gap between speaking, and then hearing it. Known as Delayed Audio Feedback, this effect can be so confusing that the speaker becomes dazed. iDaze 9000 will create waves of laughter as a friend attempts to recite the multiplication tables while his speech is reduced to gibberish.
Think about it: Youtube is a great resource. You can catch up on stupid adverts, funny advice, and most of all, game videos. Fabrication Games‘ The Game Trail aggregates the App Store’s 20 000 games, susses their scores, and helps you make the most informed buying decision. If they’ve not used their complex rating algorithm on the app you really want to know about, go ahead and submit the question to them – they’d be only too happy to help. Best part about Game Trail? It’s FREE!
Piccies and the skinny after the gap: