Boxee so far has put most of its efforts into helping users to watch Internet video on their TV screens, but it could be expanding those plans to include video watching on the tablets and other mobile devices. To do so, the video startup is looking to launch a new Mobile Applications team to build Boxee-branded apps for the iPad, iPhone and other devices.
Boxee recently posted a job listing for a “Lead iPad and iPhone App Developer” (first spotted by Engadget) that would be the first member of the mobile team, and would be responsible for building its first video application for the Apple tablet.
The company already has an iPhone app, but that exists primarily as a remote to control the Boxee media center software when a user has connected a laptop or PC up to his TV. But Boxee’s proposed iPad app, like its desktop software, would be designed to allow users to watch free online video on the device. In an email discussing his company’s plans for an iPad app, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen wrote, “We are very bullish on the tablet form factor. We think people will consume short and long form videos on tablets in the living room, bed room and on the toilet.”
While the company sees big opportunities for video on the iPad, there are limitations to bringing the Boxee experience onto the device. The biggest limitation, of course, is that the iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash, which powers the vast majority of web video that Boxee users watch with its software. As a result, the amount of content that users will actually be able to access through the device will be limited to those publishers that have formatted their content to be playable through HTML5 video. Right now, that list is limited.
“The lack of Flash on the iPad is a big issue, but we believe many sites will follow the path of Vimeo, YouTube, etc. and will introduce support for HTML5,” Ronen wrote in his email. Web video sites like YouTube, Blip.tv, Vimeo, CBS.com, NBC.com and other might support the iPad in a limited fashion, but it’s important to note that it won’t have the same content that is viewable on its desktop software, or through its upcoming Boxee Box broadband set-top device.
“Boxee on Tablets will be different from Boxee on TV. The tablet is a different form factor, a different screen size, different interaction experience, used in a different physical location in a different social context, which means we need to take all these into account,” Ronen wrote.
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