Developer: TouchCast
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini (Retina)

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

TouchCast is one of those apps one must use themselves in order to understand what the developers are trying to get at. The best way I can describe it is that it sort of presents itself as social network split in two. Using the first side of the service, users have the ability to browse and “touch” the interactive presentations that others create. Flipping to the opposite side will see users able to create their own content for publishing to the TouchCast community.

Recently updated with a ton of new features and bringing over 60 improvements (according to the developers), TouchCast starts out by asking the user to login using a number of methods or order to do this, including Facebook. This process can also be skipped, entirely. Once logged in users have a choice as to which side to visit. If the user is a video blogger they might want to tap “Cast.” While those happy to browse the casts already available will opt for the “Touch” option.

photo 5From TouchCast‘s main screen one can see the latest top trending interactive video casts, alongside those casts that are currently being featured. Tapping the “Channels” tab will allow users to delve deeper into the content published by those who have become featured, and tapping “Follow” on any of these users will allow push alerts each time a new interactive cast is uploaded. Switching to the “Cast” side of the service (a simple button press), will see users able to record a new TouchCast for sharing with their friends or those of the TouchCast community.

For the most part I was impressed with TouchCast. The use of a split-UI that puts control in the hands of the user just felt right, as did the ability to select from a wide range of preset video templates when it comes to creating a new cast, support to add .gifs to created casts, and being able to “ReCast” any cast published by another user – all with a tap.

photo 4There were however some initial problems. First, keeping casts playing fluidly was hard work. I’m not entirely sure if those issues were due to the speed of my connection, or whether TouchCast‘s servers were struggling. Nonetheless, I thought it worth a mention. Also, being a designer at heart I just couldn’t ignore the fact that some smaller elements of the app’s UI didn’t appear to have been updated to fit in with the rest of the interface. This can be seen when viewing personal profiles from inside a cast: the popups still feature that iOS 6 gloss.

TouchCast is still worth the download if one already happens to be into video-blogging and the like, and with just a few more updates it could also be great for learning.

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