PBS widens its offerings with iPhone app

Jan 19, 2011
TV

In October, PBS launched an app for iPad, but left non-iPad users empty-handed. This slight was rectified last week with the release of PBS, for iPhone and iPod Touch. PBS is a quality, content-packed app worthy of a download by anyone who tunes into PBS programming. PBS’ main draw is its more than 300 videos, […]

In October, PBS launched an app for iPad, but left non-iPad users empty-handed. This slight was rectified last week with the release of PBS, for iPhone and iPod Touch. PBS is a quality, content-packed app worthy of a download by anyone who tunes into PBS programming.

PBS’ main draw is its more than 300 videos, all streamable over Wi-Fi or 3G. Lengths range from 30-second previews to segments to full-length episodes, and I like that PBS denotes the running time on the clips’ thumbnails. This eliminates the disappointment of streaming a video you think is a full episode only to find it’s a clip. PBS’ main screen holds previews for its upcoming programming, while show-specific content can be found in the “Programs” section. I didn’t see a search function or an alpha-scroll to make finding your show a quicker process, but the programs are listed in alphabetical order. I found the video quality to be impeccable over 3G on my iPhone 4 on all my tests, which included streaming hour episodes of Antiques Roadshow and Mediashift and a 90-minute episode of Downtown Abbey.

One thing that users might find disappointing in the PBS app is the lack of full programming for PBS Kids. While the division has a section in app it only holds preview clips. The app also lacks support for retina-display on some icons, but that is only a cosmetic issue.

In addition to video, the PBS app also offers a channel finder and a corresponding schedule of shows, with creatable iCal reminders.

Related: Check out more TV apps in the Appolicious Directory.

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