The Sling Media folks pinged me this afternoon to share their latest news. SlingPlayer Mobile v1.1 for iPhone was submitted to the iTunes App Store for approval. Let me get the bad news out of the way first, so we can focus on the good stuff — there’s no 3G streaming support in the new version. You still have to use Wi-Fi to watch live or recorded television from your SlingBox hardware.
There are four reasons for the upgraded version though — the first three are certainly welcome but the fourth one shows where the product is headed:
- True 16 x 9 support that fills the entire width of the iPhone and iPod Touch screen
- An improved remote control interface
- Faster connection, channel change and remote control response times
- Integrated DISH Remote Access for users with DISH Network Satellite TV
Unfortunately, I lose out on the last item since I just left DISH for Verizon’s FiOS TV. After nine years as a happy DISH customer, I figured it just made sense to go all out with the FiOS when I ordered my 20MBps Internet connection.
Since I can’t test the feature, I’ll have to rely on the screencap and what the Sling Media folks tell me: the app speaks directly to the DISH hardware now. This allows SlingPlayer Mobile to draw a content guide natively on the iPhone instead of transmitting a picture of the guide from the television. Users can also search and filter guide results with SlingBox Mobile in advanced ways that go beyond the methods used directly on the DISH guide.
The new version will be available as soon as Apple approves it. I expect it to be a free upgrade to existing owners of SlingPlayer Mobile 1.0 — it’s $29.99 to purchase if you don’t already have it for your iPhone.