Friday, November 2, 2012

ABC Player updates its universal app, new settings allow for throttling bandwidth over WiFi and cellular networks

A nice update has been issued by ABC Digital for its network television app, ABC Player. In addition to bug fixes and stability improvements, the update also adds support for the new iPhone 5's larger support.

The app update also adds settings that allow the user to control the quality of the streamed video, and most importantly, the quantity of data used. The setting allows the user to throttle the bandwidth over both WiFi and cellular networks. At least on my own iPad, the cellular setting was set to Off as the default. Turning on content streaming over cellular then presents the user with several different quality settings that would limit the amount of data the viewer is burning up. Very handy.

Early reviews of the updated app include the inevitable claim that the app is now broken. iPad owners often forget that their tablet is a computer that needs rebooting occasionally, and app updates often do not work properly on an unstable machine.

Other negative reviews continue to complain about video quality, something that can deteriorate over slow networks, or if the settings are set at a lower level. At least one 5-star review complained about a lack of AirPlay support. That user might not be aware that they can simply double tap the home button to reach the AirPlay controls and then mirror their display to any television with an Apple TV attached.