After many months of waiting Sling Media have just released the SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone. At £17.99 it’s probably the most expensive app we’ve bought to date, but is it any good? Read on to find out and check out the rest of the screenshots…
Once you’re through the ridiculous EULA and into the actual app we’d have to say that the look and feel is very nice. It’s a “pretty” app with lots of HUDs using nice semi-transparent graphics. It also uses gestures, with an up / down swipe changing channels and sideways swipes invoking favourites.
You’ll need an account from slingaccounts.com for the app to easily remember your slingboxes. This is free a 2 minute job to setup. There’s been a lot written over the last few weeks about the decision by Sling Media to remove support for the old Classic devices. In the end they’ve put it back in but are calling these Slings “Unsupported”.
We tested the app on our own Automated Home UK Classic Slingbox as well as a similar one in the US. The “Optimizing” popup showed the system buffering quite a bit, even though we’re on a 17 meg broadband connection with decent up speeds from both locations too. You can switch between HQ and SQ to reduce the bandwidth requirements.
The biggest single issue with the app however is that it will only work when connected to WiFi and not on the 3G cellular network! Undoubtedly this is a restriction that’s come to Apple from the Network operators, but imposing this draconian restriction makes the app next to useless in its current form. The Sling Media description on the app store says that it only works via WiFi “at this time” perhaps alluding to some hope that sense will prevail in the near future and we’ll actually be able to use this “Mobile” player how it’s intended.
For now however, as the Internet would say – FAIL!