Plex blog

Huge update for our Smart TV app

04.16.15 44 Comments

As you’ve no doubt noticed over the past few months, we’ve been greatly expanding our support for Plex across Smart TVs. If you have a Plex Pass and a fairly recent VIZIO or Sony television (or other Opera TV-based devices), odds are you can run our shiny, new Plex app on it. We’ve also recently launched on Toshiba (most 2013 and later models) and LG Smart TVs (2013 Netcast and 2014 WebOS models), and 2012 and newer Samsung fridges (OK, maybe not really). Millions of people all over the world can now use Plex with their existing televisions. Here’s a list of compatible TVs.

There have, however, been a few notable drawbacks to these platforms. For example, Barkley has been staring vacantly at the lovely new home screen, confused and missing his carefully curated photo album of marrow bones and tennis balls. Where we once had a lively backdrop of island music to fill the awkward gaps in cocktail party conversation, there is nothing but silence. And where Barkley was once carefully limited to movies starring Dalmatians, there is no way for the app to use his managed account.

I’m happy to report that these dark days have reached an end.

We have been working hard on bringing all the missing features to the smart TV app, and we’ve already taken a few giant steps toward that. First of all, we have rich support for photos and music, including discovery features, photo slideshows, and a music mini player on most platforms. We’ve also added Plex Home to the TV app, which means fast user switching and managed accounts now work perfectly. And finally, you can browse and play all your music playlists (video playlist support coming soon).

This same app also runs on the PS3 and PS4. We need to do a bit more work to get music playback working on those consoles, but rest assured that’s coming soon!

Feast your eyes on these screenshots, and then run (but never with scissors), don’t walk to your nearest Smart TV to take it for a spin.

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And, really, we forgot to add a Barkley photo again. You were not amused. He was not amused. His lawyer was especially not amused.

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Major updates to our Android app!

03.27.15 95 Comments

It’s been a few months since we last visited with Android, and we’d like to let you know about a major new release we just made. That’s right, our app has turned the big 4.0 (or 4.0.1, counting a few bug-fixes)! Long out of nappies, it won’t be long before it’s doing bong hits out of a dorm room.

We’re quite taken with Android’s Material design, so you’ll see lots of beautiful new design upgrades inside the mobile app, and a completely redesigned home screen. One of the most highly requested features since we launched the new app has been a first-class experience for shared (and now Plex Home) users, and we’re thrilled to bring that to you today. The redesign also brings the app closer in line to our new modern interface, featuring simplified server selection and easy discovery of content in your library.

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Next up, we’ve added full support for Plex Home to the mobile app, which means you can easily switch between users in your Home and use PIN protection on your account. Make managed users for your kids to use, but please, please, don’t let them watch any of Krieger’s videos.

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We’ve also (finally!) graduated the Android TV app from the Plex Pass preview period! You can still access the app for free with a Plex Pass, but those without a subscription can also activate with a one-time in-app purchase. One reported issue on the Android TV was media stuttering or pausing during playback, and after much research, we’ve added a new experimental video player which should resolve the issue.

As always with this sort of platform specific update, we run the risk that everyone using a different platform will immediately take this as a sign that we’ve completely abandoned all other work. Forever. Rest assured, dear Plex lovers, this is absolutely not the case, and we continue to work hard to bring consistency, stability, feature parity, and beautiful design to all our apps!

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