Android Video Player News

Freeview App for Android

There is now a TV guide for iPhone and Android devices for the UK's major terrestrial television platform, freeview. Using the free app will give you access to the programming schedule for the standard and HD TV channels.

According to the makers, 'you will never miss your favourite programmes again'. One handy feature is the ability to download the schedule to view whilst offline. Although if you don't have a mobile signal will you be able to get a freeview signal? Neverthless, this will prove useful for planning your day's viewing in advance, perhaps on the train on the way home.

What I would really like to see though, is a fully supported app that lets you watch all of the freeview channels on your device, although you can get BBC's iPlayer and the ITV player. It would be great to have all of the freeview channels bundled together in one handy app.

Android is a (mostly) open-source operating system, designed for mobile and tablet devices. Its initial development was quite secretive, under the banner of Android Inc, until it was acquired by Google in 2005. This was a clear sign at this point that Google was entering the mobile development market as a series rival to Apple's iPhone platform. Read the Android wikepedia entry for a more concise history.

Why use Android?

Although the iPhone format is currently the most widely supported mobile OS on the market, Android is catching up extremely quickly, with more than 30,000 apps available at the last count. Its Open Source development framework makes it much easier for developers to bring new apps to the market and also means that there are far more free apps available to download. A serious advantage that Android has over the iPhone is its support for the Flash format. This is particularly important when taken in the context of video player apps as much of the content that is available online is embedded in the FLV format (flash video file).

Android Video Players

Android Video Player

The purpose of this site is to look at the numerous Android Video Players that are available on the current market, there are already many resources that provide an in-depth guide to the Android platform itself.

A video player needs to meet certain requirements regardless of the platform that it supports and video players for Android are no different.

Playback Quality

Let's face it, the experience of any video playback app will be seriously hindered if the video quality is not up to scratch. The small screen format throws up certain challenges and certainly differs in many respects to normal TV reproduction. For some, watching video on a phone is not an enjoyable experience, especially for longer material, such as movies. Of course, you're probably not one of these people if you are visiting this site so the video quality of an Android Video App should be gauged against that of other similar apps and not against that of large-screen formats. Clearly, a cinema screen offers up the best movie experience and a top-of the range home cinema system costing thousands can't even match that, so comparing an Android app to these formats is a pointless exercise.

Multiple Format Support

Arguably as important is the ability to playback videos in a multitude of different formats. Nobody wants to clog up their device with countless apps, simply because none of them cover the full range of video formats.

Playlist Support

The ability to create playlists is also a really useful feature on a video player, playlists allow you to cue up a list of videos to watch, this is great if you want to watch a list of clips (for example, your favourit comedy moments). An Android video playlist also helps you to find and organise your content quickly, allowing you to group video genres together to suit your mood.

Ease of Importing

There is no point having a fully featured app if it is nigh on impossible to get your videos on to your device. The addition of a desktop app to manage your video content is an extremely handy feature for any video player. A good desktop app should facilitate the transfer of files to your app and let you stream content over a network.

User Interface

A pretty user interface is not just an aesthetic feature, it can also make the difference between slick easy-to-use application or a downright frustrating experience and a binned app.

When measuring a video app, all of these factors have a degree of importance. Some things will be more important than others depending upon your own personal preference and upon the material that you are viewing on your video player.

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