So it took just a bit longer than I thought, but Android is an absolute powerhouse of mobile streaming video now and rather than having difficulty finding anything to watch the difficulty is in sifting through everything that is available to stream across all the various sources.
Enter Verizon with their viewdini app to try to help find the show or movie that you are interested in without having to jump in and out of half a dozen apps. The app just became available yesterday and while it is available in the Play Store it is locked to Verizon customers with 4G phones or tablets. (Quick note to fellow rooted users: I had to go to the web Play Store and install from there as it wouldn’t show up on device.)
I haven’t spent a tremendous amount of time with the app yet, but I’ll give you a few of my first impressions and since it’s free you can check it out yourself using the market link at the bottom of the post if it is sounds like it might work for you.
Let’s start with the services it is tying into as that will give you a hint of what is going to be available. At launch they are linking to CBS, Comcast Xfinity, Hulu Plus, mSpot, Netflix and Verizon Video. Verizon FiOS is going to be coming soon and they are looking to add more to the roster, but nothing concrete at the moment.
I’ll start with the positive. The app has a strong ICS look and feel to it and ran smoothly on my Nexus. There are a number of ways to browse with a featured section, breakdown by genre and movies versus TV. One of the most critical features to me is the “sort and filter” option which lets you select the providers you want to see content from, among other things. My one complaint with the filter is that you can’t select multiple providers simultaneously as the point of the app is to be able to browse across providers.
One bug I ran into is that I noticed some shows aren’t showing all available sources. Browsing TV shows I selected “How I Met Your Mother” and it displayed CBS as the source which only offered the most recent episode rather than all of the seasons that are available through Netflix. Hopefully this will be sorted out and doesn’t reflect some sort of agreement with CBS to display their content through their portal.
The last thing I’ll touch on is the CBS content itself as it is actually just taking you to the browser to view their video. It works alright, but at least on the Nexus (and I’d imagine on any 720p phone) it is not very touch friendly and I had a bit of difficulty selecting the “full screen” option. It also of course requires Flash, which meant that I needed to kick back to the stock browser rather than use Chrome as I prefer.
The concept itself is a winner for me and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it as it’s just a couple tweaks away from being a really useful app for streaming video enthusiasts.
Show Press Release
WATCH THE SHOW: VIEWDINI FROM VERIZON WIRELESS NOW AVAILABLE
Innovative Mobile Video Portal Provides Quick and Easy Access to Leading Content Providers, Including Verizon Video, Comcast, Netflix and Others
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless today announced viewdini, an innovative portal that brings movies, television shows and other video content to the forefront of consumers 4G LTE tablets and smartphones, is now available.
Viewdini brings the power of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network to the screen by streamlining access to videos from a wide range of content providers, including cable operators, websites and other popular video sources. Powered by CBS Interactive’s TV.com, viewdini is an innovative video portal that creates a new entertainment choice for consumers by making it simple to search and view movies, television shows and other videos on mobile devices. Comcast Xfinity®, Hulu Plus, mSpot, Netflix and Verizon Video are among the participants today, with more expected to be added soon, including Verizon FiOS.
“This is another example of how the power of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and wide variety of 4G LTE devices is driving innovation,” said Kristi Crum, executive director of Marketing at Verizon Wireless. “We continue to expand and enhance our content with our audience in mind, working with reputable content providers in order to bring a rich mobile entertainment experience to our customers.”
Verizon Wireless’ viewdini makes it easy for users to search thousands of titles from some of the Web’s leading content providers, TV sites, movie studios and cable operators. By simply searching for a title, topic or an actor’s name, viewdini lets customers know which services have mobile video for streaming, and whether it is available at no additional charge, by subscription, to rent or for purchase. A simple click will also provide related content and information like cast and crew information and links to similar titles.
Viewdini is available to Verizon Wireless customers with 4G LTE-enabled Android™ devices, with support for other operating systems coming soon. The app can be downloaded from Verizon Apps and Google Play, and is free to customers. A Verizon Wireless data plan is required and usage may count towards a customer’s data allowance. Video subscription, rental or purchase fees may also apply.