TiPb Asks: How do you watch videos on your iPhone and iPad?

TiPb Asks: How do you watch videos on your iPhone and iPad?

How do you watch videos on your iPhone? When the original iPhone launched -- 4 years ago today! -- it came with an iPod app that could play iTunes/H.264 MP4 movies and video podcasts, and a last minute YouTube app addition for online videos. Fast forward to today and iOS 5 is set to break the iPod app in two, Videos and Music just like iPod touch and iPad, YouTube can be played in Safari and embedded web views via Google's web app, and a host of other sites and services now make apps and web apps as well.

There's Netflix and Hulu, ABC and Global, and BBC and MLB, HBO and Comcast, Ustream and Air Video, and a ton of others.

In addition, since iPhone 3GS, you can now shoot your own videos and watch them in the Camera or Photos app, even Messages and email if other people's videos are sent your way. And now there's the iPad with a big, beautiful 9.7-inch screen to enjoy your videos on as well... or even beam them to your Apple TV via AirPlay.

So with so many video options on iPhone and iPad, what do you find yourself using the most?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

TiPb Asks: How do you watch videos on your iPhone and iPad?


I watch using 3rd party apps because iOS's Codec support is terrible. I would get an Apple TV Apple supported a broad range of codecs...

As a secondary note. I just bought (and sold) a Xoom to play around with and the same 720P videos that choke on my iPad 2 played fine on the Xoom - well, frame rate was a little low, but they played.

Well my typical use for videos is the follow, Cardio at the gym, at home usually its dumb youtube videos and when I fly I also watch movies.
I watch videos from Netflix, or my Plex Server
My movie collection consist of movies I rip then encode with Handbrake I add the the metadata with Metacow.

I use AirVideo+AirPlay and get them up on my TV....I don't do vid watching on the go, except youtube once in a while.

Iphone - Watch HBO, Netflix. while laying down in bed or working out.
Ipad - watch tube8, spankwire website videos before wife gets home. Watch Abc, netflix, HBO around the house. Much more convenient than tv since i can take it with me while i go around the house doing other things.
I also use Oplayer HD, CinemaX for other codecs that apple dont support and also watch some videos of training and such

Depends on the content, but, in order of frequency of use:
1) Netflix - love it.
2) HBOGo - ditto
3) Crackle - not mentioned here, but some good streaming selections.
4) Invocations of the player from Mobile Safari (e.g. from espn.com)
5) Videos/iPod app - on-device content
6) YouTube - though using YouTube mobile web interface more and more of late.
7) Air Video or VLC - stuff streaming from my NAS or other codecs
8) AJE English - an outside-the-US perspective on news

iPod app, VLC app, Goodreader, AirPlay, home share, YouTube app, tvcatchup (live tv for the uk), BBC iplayer, zumocast and ustream app.
I think that's about it.

I rip for a couple of reasons
1. DVD drive spins less
2. It decrypts the DVD and sometimes if I use just handbrake the audio tracks get messed up (only a few times) so rather than having to do it again I just rip then encode and I can queue up a few DVD's like that. I dont rip Blu ray. I like to rip my movies form DVD. To rip I use RIP it

I use both Netflix and YouTube on a regular basis with my iPhone 4, either out and about while waiting for things such as the doc, lunch at work, etc, or at home and in bed, with the rest of the fam asleep. For longer trips where 3G might be spotty, or flights, I'll usually download a couple of DVD's into the native app.

Well I don't watch videos on my iphone or ipad because the screen is really small for me..I prefer watching in hd big screen..

Airplayer, hulu, netflix. The stock video player if I am not too lazy to convert videos over. Mostly Airplayer with all my videos hosting on desktop as a streaming machine.

I used to watch videos on my iPhone 4 with the Netflix app, but that hasn't worked for me in well over a month; I'd like to use HBOGo but that doesn't show movies in 3G (at least not any movie/show I've tried). YouTube works great, as does the Crackle app. Crackle has a lot of good movies and you can play them over 3G. The TED app has a lot of great videos from the TED conferences that can be viewed over 3G.

iPad 2 and iPhone 4 : Netflix, Hulu+, Youtube, ABC, and videos from iTunes storage. If I'm near my Apple TV I'll stream from iOS device to it.

Unfortunately down here in Australia we don't have Netflix or Hulu services and very limited videoson iTunes. Therefore we have to upload so I was using ipodme to encode and load into iTunes but now use AVPlayer as I'm lazy and couldnt be bothered encoding.

I use the built-in iPad video app for watching movies on the way to/from work. Then when I get home I stream it to the Apple TV to carry on watching it on the bigscreen.
When travelling with kids in the car, I put the iPad in a headrest mount and use Movie Remote Kids app so I can control the video player from the front seat.

Would love an iPad but only have an iPhone 4, always watching YouTube, Netflix, and vevo streaming. My iPod app is loaded with bout 200 music videos, most of them downloaded and converted using real player off of vevo desktop site.
I watch laying in bed, waiting in lines at theme parks and on breaks at work and such.

I use Remote Patato. Great app, just sucks cause you cant use it the component cables to the TV. Aside from that i stream movies from my PC to the phone. It also has MKV support, which looks great on the phone.

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