There’s no ignoring the importance of video in the mobile app environment—or on the mobile web, for that matter. Whether you’re creating apps for publishers targeting tablet-toting readers, targeting users consumed by TV programming or just making a simple instructional yoga app, video is practically a prerequisite.
The absence of video for some Android apps was highlighted recently when PlayOn Mobile, an app from MediaMall Technologies launched an app that makes video streaming from services like Netflix and Hulu possible on Android-based devices. The app is apparently feeding the masses of video-hungry Android fans, making video available from a slew of content providers—and giving users mobile access to personal media stored on a networked PC. The tech media site Tom’s Guide points out a couple catches, however—including a pricey annual fee of $39.99 for basic service:
“Video feeds aren't streamed directly to the phone. Instead, PlayOn requires a PC client connected directly to the Internet which in turn redirects the streaming content to the mobile device. Initially the Android smartphone or tablet will need to be set in Wi-Fi mode and paired with the Windows client (aka media server), but after the first connection users can access the content from anywhere via Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G connection.”
And the popularity of video-based apps isn’t limited to video that already exists. The app developer Qualvu recently launched an app that lets brands capture user feedback about their products as they use them, essentially creating a video feedback reel that they can use for their own R&D and (assuming reviews are good) integrate into their social media and online marketing efforts.
Those developments and so many other efforts to mobilize video and integrate it into mobile apps in one way or another point to the medium’s importance in the mobile ecosystem—good lessons for developers seeking that extra feature or component that will set their app apart.