Archive for January 9, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Improving the iOS 9 Videos App

I find the iOS Videos app frustrating to use. It’s almost unbelievable that in the 9th major version of the OS it’s missing what seem to be some pretty basic features. However, this also means that it should’t be hard to make it a lot better:

Of course, ideally we wouldn’t have to wait for Apple to improve the Videos app. After all, we have the App Store. Lots of people don’t like the new Music app, but fortunately there are excellent third-party alternatives such as Ecoute (App Store). However, as far as I can tell, none of the many video apps in the store are a viable alternative to Apple’s Videos app. It looks like there are APIs for apps to get a list of locally stored videos, but there’s no way for apps to see which videos were purchased and to selectively download them from the cloud. The same limitations are in place for music, but that doesn’t matter so much because the iPhone has plenty of space to store my entire music library. It’s not feasible to store one’s entire video library on an iOS device. My iPad only has enough free space for one movie at a time. An app for managing videos must be able to manage videos that are stored in the cloud.

Update (2016-01-10): Actually, it appears that there is an API for accessing music in the cloud, and Ecoute lets you control whether non-local songs are shown. You can stream them but not manage the local copies.

Jared Sinclair:

Re: Videos․app, this unforgivable caching bug introduced with iOS 7 is still around on iOS 9

TL;DR “Streamed” playback is downloaded in full resolution, not cleared, nor manually clearable w/out signing out/back in.