Blog Post

Mobile Video: So Many Apps, So Little Time

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Nearly every day, it seems, I hear about a new mobile video application or service. Yesterday, it was PrimeTime2Go for BlackBerrys (s rimm). Today, it was Poptiq for BlackBerrys. (Hey, it’s not all about the iPhone!) If you’re anything like me, you’re probably having trouble keeping them all straight. Here’s a list of video apps that I like — and a few that I’d like to try.

Ones I’ve Tried: Want to watch full episodes of your favorite TV show on your iPhone (s aapl)? Then this app is for you — as long as your favorite shows are on CBS, the CW, or Showtime. OK, it’s a bit limited, but is still a good offering. It streams full episodes of shows over 3G, EDGE and Wi-Fi networks (though some shows will only work over Wi-Fi).

SlingPlayer Mobile: This application lets you connect to your Slingbox and watch its contents right from your Windows Mobile or BlackBerry smartphonejoost. I’m just waiting for the iPhone version to arrive, if it ever does.

Flixster: I can’t help it. I have a weakness for movie trailers — or maybe I just have a really short attention span. Either way, this free iPhone app works for me. It lets you view movie trailers for new releases, upcoming movies, and those coming out on DVD. You also can search for theaters and buy tickets online, but those features aren’t as interesting to me.

Joost: I’ve spent some time playing with Joost, and I really like it. Unfortunately, I fear it will disappear if Joost the company does. This free iPhone app has a library of 46,000 videos — clips, full episodes of TV shows, and even full-length (though older) movies that you can watch right on your phone. Right now, it only works over Wi-Fi, though a 3G version has been rumored for a while.

AT&T CV: OK, this service didn’t wow me when I reviewed it a few months back. But I still think it has potential. It offers a mix of video clips and full episodes of select TV shows. But it’s not cheap: You’ll need either a MEdia Max Unlimited bundle ($35 per month) or MEdia New Unlimited bundled ($15 per month) to access CV.

Sprint TV: Yes, Sprint (s s), too, has a mobile TV service. It, too, offers a mix of packaged clips and live TV on compatible phones. But this one differentiates itself from the others through Sprint’s deal with the NFL, which allows subscribers to watch certain NFL football games live on their phone.

Not Tested, But Interesting:

Lifecasting: No, the iPhone doesn’t have video-recording capabilities, but you can still use your phone to create an MP4 video with this 99-cent app. Formerly known as FunSlides, it lets you create MP4 movies from your photos, complete with audio narration, which can be uploaded directly to YouTube.

V Cast Mobile TV: Like AT&T’s service, this one from Verizon Wireless (s vz) offers a mix of short video clips and full-length TV episodes. It also offers live television in some areas of the country, but requires a compatible handset and a V Cast data plan, which adds either $15 or $25 per month to your phone bill.

PrimeTime2Go: This brand-spanking-new service looks intriguing. For $7.99 a month, users of new BlackBerry phones (the Curve 8900 and the Bold) will be able to watch full episodes of certain TV shows (including Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, 90210, and more) on their phones. I’m just wondering if it will be worth the price.

Poptiq: Already available on the iPhone, Poptiq is now coming to BlackBerrys. It sends videos to your phone via the Internet; I’m not entirely sure how well it will work, but I’m curious to find out. Two versions are available for the iPhone: a free Lite version, and a $3.99 full version. The iPhone version works over Wi-Fi networks only.

Qik: Why watch other people’s videos when you can broadcast your own? That’s the allure of Qik, a service which lets you stream live video from your phone to your friends and family — and even the world at large. Qik automatically archives your videos, and will even help you upload them to YouTube. The service works with a wide variety of phones, including various BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones. Its similar to rival services like Flixwagon and Kyte, both of which I’d like to check out, too.

I’m reserving a spot on my list for Hulu, which reportedly has an iPhone app in the works. And I’m sure there will be even more mobile video options coming tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that.

11 Responses to “Mobile Video: So Many Apps, So Little Time”

  1. i would like to know why i cannot watch all ny giants games on my phone with the nfl live package. i can watch the nfl gameday show live but not the football games. the nfl gameday show is very clear on my phone. i just would like to have the sports package with the giants available for me to watch on gameday when i cant see it on tv. but i would like to have total access every weekend any ways.

  2. Shane York

    Have you seen iVisit? It actually lets you have a live video session of your own. You can do video conferences or live video with up to 8 people. I think that’s COOL. The only catch is that it only works on some phones not everyone.

  3. Seth Abrams

    FYI, with regards to Verizon VCAST and AT&T CV, RealNetworks does all the video streaming for those two companies (I noticed this was not listed). Looks like they do more than just the Real Player!

  4. TVFan

    Good list Liane. I will add the YouTube iPhone app and Truveo iPhone app to the list. What I don’t understand about the app is why it puts up YouTube clips for most searches. CBS should limit the videos to their own library and make it a pure play instead of messing it up with YouTube since YouTube already has its own app. If they remove the YouTube clips, the app will also become less cluttered and much better to use.