By Jim Karpen on Wed, 12/05/2012
You may recall that when iOS 6 came out, it lacked two apps that had been part of iOS from the beginning: Google's Maps and YouTube. Google quickly came out with a YouTube iPhone app to replace the one that went missing, but it received a lot of criticism. And many felt it was a stopgap until a full-fledged universal app could be developed. And happily, Google's free YouTube 1.1 app arrived in the App Store yesterday. It's now a universal app optimized for the screen of the retina iPad as well as the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5. It also adds AirPlay support, meaning that if you have an Apple TV, you can stream videos from your iPhone or iPad to your HDTV. It's already garnered a ton of downloads in the App Store, and the rating has jumped from an average of two stars to four stars, so clearly users think it's an improvement. Some still complain, though, that it's not as good as the original. All in all, it's a good effort from Google and great to see them working on developing this app.
I also wanted to draw your attention to an article on Yahoo News titled "5 Ways to Watch TV and Movies on Your iPad." It gives an excellent overview of the streaming TV options for your iPad. One option is to download apps for specific TV channels, and it gives a list of 10 of those apps, many of which offer full episodes. The real leader in this area has been ABC, which led the way in allowing viewers to stream full episodes. Their ABC Player is free and is available as a universal app for iPhone and iPad.
Although I've written a number of articles for our magazine about streaming video options, this Yahoo News article mentions a couple that are new to me. TV.com for iPhone (free) offers full episodes from CBS as well as content from the CW network, Showtime, CNET, and more. Tap TV, a free universal app for iPhone and iPad, has hundreds of classic movies, cartoons, documentaries, and more.
In addition, if you have cable TV service, you have lot of options for streaming live TV to your device. Typically you use an app from your cable provider or the particular network, and must log in to your account to access their streaming video on your device. The Yahoo News article lists a range of options available for streaming live TV.
And, finally, the article covers interactive TV apps. Boxfish (free, for iPhone and iPad) sounds really interesting. It translates the words spoken on live TV into text and captures all of that in a searchable database. You can set up alerts so that you're notified when certain topics are being discussed on TV. Or you can access live feeds from your favorite channels in real time. This is simply amazing.