Apple TV adds revamped YouTube app (with ads), new channels from DailyMotion, UFC and more

Apple TV is receiving a flurry of new channels today. Most prominently is a brand new YouTube app, to bring the client up-to-date with some of the other platforms. The new app reflects the design of other set-top box clients, with easier access to subscriptions and search functions. For the security conscious, the YouTube app now uses OAuth to login rather than naive password entry (by visiting youtube.com/activate)

Unfortunately, this YouTube update also means that Apple TV users will start seeing ads for the first time on the platform. Naturally, some users will be disappointed by this addition — it is not possible to opt out of the update.

Aside from YouTube, Apple TV is also getting four entirely new channels from various providers. Rolling out today are channels for Conde Nast’s ‘The Scene’, ‘Fusion’, Dailymotion (a video upload site from France) and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content.

Read more

Netflix updated for iOS 8, adds 1080p video playback for iPhone 6 Plus

Netflix for iPhone 6

Netflix updated its iPhone and iPad app to version 7.0 today adding optimization for the larger displays on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduced in September. The updated version of Netflix shows more content like titles and genres as well as previews of movies and TV shows when browsing for something to watch. In addition to optimizing the Netflix app for iPhone 6 users, Netflix says the new version of its app will now offer video playback in 1080p, full HD, for users with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Read more

TeeVee 2 for iPhone, TV show tracking with a modern look [Review]

In a world where Netflix releases entire seasons of TV shows at a time, like House of Cards and the new season of Arrested Development, personally, I find it increasingly difficult to schedule myself around when HBO wants to air a show or even when it has already aired something.

So when I shared a screenshot on Twitter a few months ago of Episodes, an app that allows you to follow and manage TV shows, a handful of people asked me which app this was I was using. Managing and tracking TV show scheduling is clearly something many people need a solution for.

TeeVee 2 is similar in that it allows you to follow your favorite shows on television without having to manually input any information aside for the name of the series. Read more

DirecTV iPhone app adds ‘Voice Search’ feature, displays dialogue & results onscreen with TV Mode

DirecTV-voice-modeDirecTV has updated its iPhone app that allows users to access live and on demand programming, as well as manage their DIRECTV DVR, with new voice recognition features today. Accessible from a new tab called “Voice” within the app, the Voice Search feature allows users to “speak to the app just as you would to a person” in order to find and play specific programs.

As you can see from the screenshot to the right, DirecTV has created a UI similar to Siri and other voice-based apps that allows users to see their dialogue as they speak. The app will also let users switch to a TV mode in order to view dialogue and results from Voice Search on their TV instead of the iPhone’s display.

With Voice Search, DirecTV said users will be able to “search for programs by mentioning title, channel, keyword, actor, time frame, genre and more,” and also “change the channel, record, and play content” at home. The new TV Mode also offers a view of personalized recommendations on the big screen.

The update has not yet hit the iPad app and the TV Mode will require users to have an Internet-connected HR24 DVR model or above.

Read more

Disney’s ABC to livestream all programming to iOS devices starting this week

mzl.efqostua.480x480-75 mzl.duqzrtmz.480x480-75

Big news from the New York Times this evening. ABC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company,  will begin streaming live content to iOS devices later this week in Philadelphia and New York City using a new button on their app called ‘live’. Users will be able to live stream all the programming from ABC’s local stations there, ‘the first time that any major broadcaster has turned on such a technology.’

For the first six weeks the service will be free to anyone with an iOS device according to GigaOM. Before you go grabbing the scissors to cut that cable cord, be warned that the live stream will eventually be available only to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers, even though the stations’ signals are available free over the public airwaves.

ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.

Also, not all shows have beencleared for streaming so there might be some discrepancies between the live feeds and the stream. The news comes as a service called Aereo (which we’ve reviewed) is place shifting broadcast signals to the internet, making live channels available to portable device owners. Read more

Review: Infuse by FireCore is a versatile way to watch videos on your iOS device

As more and more consumers switch to using iOS devices to enjoy media, the need is becoming apparent for a more full featured and well-rounded video player. While Apple’s Videos app provides basic and simple functionality for viewing movies, when it comes to storing, organizing, and viewing your entire library of videos and movies, Apple’s stock app falls flat.

FireCore, the group behind the popular aTV Flash software for jailbroken Apple TVs have released a new app called Infuse, which promises to fix all of that, offering you a versatile way to view and organize videos in a variety of different formats. Let’s check out how it worked.

Read more

Avatar iTunes Extras Special Edition goes on preorder, lets you deconstruct scenes in simultaneous views

Avatar, a 2009 epic sci-fi flick written and directed by James Cameron, has marked a major technological breakthrough and ushered in a new era in digital effects. Although development on the movie began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for the film, the director soon found he would have to wait for the necessary technology to become available if he were to achieve his vision of the film.

Beginning Dec. 20, a special edition of Avatar is landing on Apple’s iTunes Store packing in interesting iTunes Extras unavailable on other platforms. According to the press release, these interactive digital enhancements let fans:

Read more