Boxee has done very well offering its open-source media center on televisions and computers. But it looks set to roll out its service to other devices, starting with the iPad and iPhone, before moving on to Google Android tablets and smartphones.
Apple iPad Video Apps
The iPad has arrived, and it’s already selling well enough that Apple has had to delay its international release. Online video obviously plays a big part in the iPad’s appeal, with Apple aiming the device at people who want to consume media on the go.
The ABC Player iPad app is showing the potential the iPad offers to purveyors of online video. But ABC, and Netflix alongside it, aren’t going to be the only companies making an effort to appeal to iPad owners.
Boxee iPad/iPhone App
Boxee is now actively seeking developers to help create an app for the iPad and iPhone. Advertising on its Jobs Board for a ‘Lead iPad and iPhone App Developer’, the company states:
“We consider ‘other screens’ as important as TVs for enjoying video. In that spirit, we seek a lead iPad and iPhone developer to be the first member of our Mobile Applications team.”
Objective-C expertise is seen as a must, as is experience for developing apps for Apple’s devices. Interestingly, “Android development experience” is listed as a plus, strongly suggesting that once the iPad/iPhone apps are in the bag, that Boxee wants to move on to other devices.
A Boxee iPhone app already exists, but it only turns the smartphone into a remote control. The new app is instead likely to offer a similar experience to the main Boxee interface, bringing a range of online video content to users in one locale.
Support For Adobe Flash
There is obviously still a big question mark hanging over a Boxee app on the iPhone and iPad, because neither offer support for Adobe Flash. However, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told NewTeeVee:
“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.”
Boxee needs to hope so, because any sites that fail to convert to please Apple will be unusable.
Tablet Form Factor
The iPad is only the first of many tablet computers to be released, with Microsoft, HP, Dell, and Toshiba all developing entries in the new form factor. And Boxee is keen on supporting them all, stating:
“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.”
I’m not sure about the toilet, but I definitely think tablets are going to become an important way we consume media, online video included, in years to come.
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