Posts Tagged VUDU

2013-wrapp-up-header

I’m the kind of person who my entire family comes to with any tech or game related question. For my soon-to-be career in the IT world, I’ve probably already heard every silly computer related question I can think of; such as my parent’s worrying I deleted all of their email in their Yahoo! email account when I reformatted their computer to my uncle calling me to tell me how this site he saw on an infomercial cleaned up his PC. Every facepalm, of course to those in the know, was from lack of knowledge of computers and technology.

So when it came to my grandmother – who is old, fragile, and not in the greatest of health – needing an upgrade from her ancient Mac Book this year, I candidly suggested she go to an iPad instead of a new computer. “Why?” my family asked, “How can a tablet replace a computer?” To which I gave them a brief summary of all the reasons I could come up with to justify the purchase of a $500 tablet versus a $1200 MacBook. The iPad’s size, weight, cost, and usability were all crucial to my argument for the iPad versus another laptop.

Me with my grandmother at my wedding in 2010.

Me with my grandmother at my wedding in 2010.

Eventually I won out in this discussion, thus beginning a sort of experiment to see if my dad’s mother could adopt to a mobile touch screen device. To many in our age group, the idea that someone may have trouble with an iPad sounds almost absurd. But keep in mind this was part of a family that I had to verbally instruct over the phone as to how to launch Skype on their MacBook.

The first baby steps of this experiment were to introduce her to popular apps, such as the iPad email interface, Safari, and Facebook. Facebook took great strides in 2013 to make their mobile app to have nearly all the functionality of the browser based version. I was even able to help her figure out how to hide the posts from a distant relative who’d post quite frequently about Justin Bieber and how much she’d spent on clothes. My grandma is cool like that.

hqdefaultNext up was showing her various forms of entertainment on the device. Now again, this amazing lady still owns two SD TV’s, so an iPad with it’s Retina display is by far the best visually striking screen in her house. I showed her various video apps; such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and even lesser known ones such as VUDU. Because I also deal with iOS games on a consistent basis, I introduced some simple but really fun games I thought she might be interested in trying. Two of them, which appeared to catch on with her, were games I considered to be some of the best but most overlooked games of 2013: 4 Thrones and FlowDoku.

There have been a couple of challenges in this adventure however, as anyone going from the familiar to the unknown can be a little daunted. My grandmother had issues figuring out her email, having been used to browser based clients. However, I was able to introduce her to the wide array of Google apps available on iOS, merging the Google and Apple worlds into one. She found the Google Mail client pretty useful for her needs, as well as Google Drive, so I could send her stuff such as wedding photos from the event that occurred some 3 years ago. Additionally, I was able to set her up with Skype on iOS so she could watch my sister’s wedding, as well as the TED Talks app so she could see the various topics discussed.

apple-ipad-29There was also a little trouble getting my elderly grandmother adept at using the on-screen keyboard. Luckily the keyboard on an iPad is relatively big with easy to read buttons, especially in comparison to any Android device. It also responds perfectly to touch, with little to no issues responding appropriately. Once she learned to adapt to using a touch screen to not only replace the mouse but the physical keyboard as well, things seemed to go much easier.

The farm I spent a lot of time on as a kid at my grand parents.

The farm I spent a lot of time on as a kid at my grand parents.

My grandmother means the world to me, and it’s absolutely devastating knowing she is nearing her final days on this Earth. But the notion that I could help simplify her life a little bit makes me feel a tad better. From helping her get a device that her frail body will be able to manage to setting her up with and showing her how to use some apps that were similar to what she was using on a MacBook, I feel as though my grandma has a great computing device, an awesome means of communicating with the outside world, and something that will help improve her life overall; regardless of how long or short that may be. Technology has many uses beyond business, entertainment, or whatever else. Sometimes it’s just as simple as using it to aid the ones you love.

VUDU is being offered in a public beta, giving users the chance to test out the new service that allows them to stream their DVD and Blu-ray movie collections on their iPad and more. Users are able to convert many of their discs to a format stored in the cloud where they can watch movies from anywhere. The price of conversion is $2 dollars per DVD or Blu-ray and $5 dollars per DVD with an update to HDX.

There is a special going on now that lets users convert their first disc free and receive 50% off final payment when converting ten or more discs.

vudu

via: VUDU

I’m amazed that no one’s used the name Fanhattan before as it’s an excellent name for a celebrity/movie orientated website or app. This app does exactly what would be expected of it. It enables users to find movies and TV shows from old to new across various video streaming and rental services.

Supporting many different services such as Vudu, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon Video on Demand and the ABC Player, this should be a definitive app for all US based entertainment fans. If the show or movie isn’t currently available to stream, Fanhattan will even state where it can be bought for shipping at a later date.

Search options means that not only is it easy to track down something particular but it’s easy to browse for new suggestions too. Content is grouped into genres like Newest, Top Rated, Critic’s Picks as well as Award Winners such as Emmys or Oscars. That’s not forgetting regular genres like action or fantasy.

Combining everything in such a way is a neat idea that no doubt iPad owners will be keen to try out.

It’s out now and it’s free to download. Don’t forget that the services it links to may incur further charges such as Netflix and acquiring items on iTunes. Fortunately, Fanhattan lists pricing in a detailed manner.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-06-01 :: Category: Entertainment

Some notable players with prominent content are starting to get in to the business of making web apps in HTML5, bypassing the App Store entirely. Amazon has launched HTML5-capable versions of both their Cloud Player for music, and Cloud Reader for reading – and (more importantly for Amazon) buying – Kindle books. However, it’s entirely another thing for content from large multimedia multinational conglomerates to show up in a web app form, especially considering the DRM hurdles that Netflix has had to jump through with supporting devices on Android. However, it appears as if thanks to the power of one of the biggest multinational conglomerates of all, Walmart, movies and TV shows are showing up through the browser for iPad owners.

Walmart owns the video-on-demand service VUDU, and that service has just launched the ability to view their content through the iPad’s Safari browser. By visiting http://vudu.com/movies, users can immediately browse through VUDU’s entire library of content. There are various trailers and previews available to sample the content available from VUDU; sadly, all content is standard definition only on iOS, and some movies are specifically unavailable on the platform. Movies and TV shows can be either rented or bought from the service, and should be available for watching across the multiple platforms that VUDU is available on. Video watching is available in full-screen, but it does not appear to support AirPlay as of this time.

It does seem as if the web app revolution will be launched by big companies who don’t want to be pushed around by Apple and their restrictions, especially when they have their own financial interests at heart. If Apple won’t let them make money through the App Store, then they’ll just find another way to leverage the millions of iOS devices out there, and if in doing so, they push into new frontiers of technology. That could ultimately be beneficial for consumers who don’t have to be limited by Apple’s restrictions to get the content they want. It could also benefit Apple in a way – they have been pushing HTML5 as a replacement for Flash, and with these new web apps not requiring Flash, they’re only pushing their own agenda further along.

Source: MacStories

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