Update to the new Plex for Android - Plex Blog

Update to the new Plex for Android

| 27 May 2013 | by 90 Comments

It’s always tricky when a piece of software is rewritten from scratch. Even though it might be objectively better in almost every conceivable way, people get used to things being a certain way, and regardless of how big or small a change is, there will always be someone who hates the change.

With the new Plex for Android, we actually talked a lot ahead of the release about possible stress points, and we predicted there would be some blowback over the lack of a full remote (even as we worked hard to add it back). At some point, though, you go to Google Play with the app you have.

We also predicted some complaints about the requirement to have a myPlex account, but we were honestly a bit taken aback by the volume and tone of the feedback on this point. I believe we didn’t explain clearly why a myPlex account might be useful, and what information is sent up. Quick summary:

  • You can sign up with just username and email (and we don’t even verify email)!
  • The only other information we pass to myPlex from Plex for Android is a bit of device information (make, model, Android version, etc.)
  • myPlex helps make local server detection more reliable. This might sound a bit crazy, but detecting local resources on network using broadcast/multicast is fraught with peril. It is more often more reliable to have the two resources talk to a third party.
  • myPlex accounts make remote connections to Plex servers configuration-free, without a need for DynDNS or other such services. (Before you beard out on me, remember that most people don’t want to set up a VPN, or remember and type in an IP address.)
  • myPlex doesn’t see what media you’re playing, or know what’s in your library. It helps Plex app A locate Plex server B, and then the two talk directly.
  • myPlex is required for PlexSync.
  • myPlex is used to send native device notifications to iOS, Android, and (soon) Windows 8 devices. These notifications are currently used for friend invites, media recommendations, and PlexSync.
  • You can queue web videos up to watch later with a myPlex account.
  • You can share your media with other myPlex account-holders.
  • In the future, we’ll be using myPlex for other awesome, cool, neat, amazing things.
So as you can see, there’s nothing really evil going on here. But we understand, some people will always view an online account as a bad thing, and there’s not much we can do about that.
 
Last, but not least, there was a lot of highly negative feedback over the location permissions that were added. Obviously, we must be tracking where you are so that we can report your location directly to the MPAA, right (as one review accused us). In reality, those permissions aren’t being used for anything at the moment. How silly is that? We added them when we started working on the new Plex for Android, mostly because it seemed cool, but also because we were considering adding a feature where you’d be able to see where people were who were streaming from your server (e.g. Professor Plum in the Library with a Candlestick).

A review from the new version:

2013 05 27 at 12 45 06 AM

Needless to say, he only gave us a single star, and presumably because zero stars wasn’t an option. John (and others similarly annoyed by this update): We will work tirelessly to make sure the new Plex for Android works well. There is a lot to love about this new version, if you give it a chance. Promise.

In that vein, we’ve pushed a quick update to Google Play with the following changes:

  • NEW: Removed myPlex sign in as a requirement for the non-PlexPass version.
  • NEW: A first working version of the Remote Control Widget.
  • FIX: Remove (completely unused) location permissions.
  • FIX: Recommendations and sharing for episode and movie online content.

And yes, you can haz a Barkley.

P43A0872

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90 Comments so far

  1. Thomas Wood May 27th, 2013 1:34 am

    Feelsbadman.jpg

    Some people are just plain assholes. I thank you on behalf of us Plex users whom appreciate every update we get, PlexPass or not.

    My housemate got a PlexPass because why not, even though I give him all of the PlexPass stuff I get.

  2. Pieter May 27th, 2013 1:41 am

    Well, I can only say that I really appreciate the effort you guys put in all these releases. I must say I find the myplex very useful especially when you’re on the way.
    Cheers

  3. Chris May 27th, 2013 1:41 am

    Never underestimate the desire of people to whine about an excellent media platform which is the most OS agnostic (Win, OSX, various Linux including NAS, Win Phone, Droid, IOS, Roku, LG, Samsung TV, Raspi) ecosystem I’m aware of…

    The new droid app is miles ahead of the old one in terms of stability/usability and functionality, especially the ability to add to queue via the share menu and Sync.

    All this is available for less than USD 5 for the App, and an optional subscription to support the devs… Haters gonna hate…

    I look forward to future updates!

  4. M May 27th, 2013 1:41 am

    communication is key.
    and adding an unused permission is just ludicrous, that’s something you could’ve really foreseen, especially if it’s something major, like location…
    the requirement to myplex is another thing.
    i get it that you want to advertise it, but forcing your customers (plex is a paid application on android after all) to create an account shouldn’t be done. a gentle reminder on first start up is something much gentler.

    i hope you’ve learned from this.
    you could start by adding an explanation why you request certain permissions in the play store description.

  5. Héctor Henry May 27th, 2013 1:58 am

    Thank you for everything and a lot of People that don’t pay is who complane tinkling that is that easy to make every body happy. And please next time ask Barkley to look at the camera.

    Long life to Plex environment.

  6. abarthch May 27th, 2013 1:58 am

    Hey elan

    At the last I/O Google announced a beta testing feature for developers. Maybe this is what you guys just needed to let PlexPass Users test the new features before the main release. See here for an example:

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/05/26/dashclock-widget-developer-switches-to-new-beta-testing-technique-helps-us-see-how-it-will-work-when-it-launches/

  7. wally007 May 27th, 2013 2:03 am

    I think we should contact John’s local authorities. The amount of rage for not being able to play his favorite movie is disturbing and he should be put on the Neighborhood’s watch list :-)

  8. elan May 27th, 2013 2:08 am

    @abarthch ~ we used HockeyApp quite happily during the PlexPass period, but I love the new alpha/beta testing Google has introduced.

  9. Tom May 27th, 2013 2:09 am

    Hey,

    I don’t think it’s right to call people ‘silly’ for freaking out at a location permission, why does a media player need my location anyway? If you don’t have the feature ready yet then don’t ask for the permission yet, it’ll be much easier to encourage people to allow location if there is a clear benefit.

    Secondly, I think you guys need to realise that nobody really reads this blog or the forums. After reading the explanation over the myPlex requirements, I can clearly see that it’s a good idea and will make everything much more awesome. Why not put this explanation either as part of the “Whats new?” or inside the app itself.

    I think you guys have a fantastic product, but you’re sometimes left open to criticism because of poor communication. Hopefully you can work this out, keep on trucking.

  10. aristocrat May 27th, 2013 2:15 am

    Plex has a great fan following and any wrong move is bound to get people aggressive. After all, everyone’s movie fun is very dependent on plex.

    My plex android app still doesn’t find my server. And i am not raging – pretty sure this will get fixed.

  11. Martin May 27th, 2013 2:21 am

    Hey guys, I think you’re awesome!

  12. elan May 27th, 2013 2:21 am

    @Tom: Just to clarify, I said “those permissions aren’t being used…How silly is that?” meaning that it was silly for us to ask for the permission, not people being silly. Totally agreed that we need better communication/”marketing” around myPlex.

    @aristocrat: On the latest server? Using myPlex or not? A logcat would help.

  13. Chris May 27th, 2013 2:33 am

    It’s unfortunate that there are such entitled people in the world, who feel that everyone owes them something. Dear Mr. John Corley, you’re a complete and utter dick. That is all.

    As someone who has been enjoying PLEX for quite some time, I can say that EVERYTHING I’ve seen come out by the PLEX team has been future forward, and ultimately provides the best media experience possible. Haters are going to hate, and you just have to ignore those singular voices as they don’t speak for the collective.

  14. redrum May 27th, 2013 2:39 am

    Just so you guys know, not all of us Android users are nutters…

  15. AshTemple May 27th, 2013 2:48 am

    Thanks for creating, maintaining and running your awesome product, I still think youre pushing the boundries of what is possible with media centres and I for one are loving what youre doing, please keep it up!!

  16. raz May 27th, 2013 2:49 am

    Some of us paid to not only support you, but to also get access to the new features/look that others now rage about.

    Dont let the internet get you down

  17. mike May 27th, 2013 3:09 am

    Hey Elan

    Plex is the best and most used app on my phone and computer. Really like the 3.0 release for android. Keep shipping mate! Love your work

  18. Steve May 27th, 2013 3:09 am

    Thanks for updating so quickly in response. However I am a bit concerned after seeing the review below from Google Play:

    “Can no longer play from my local server as it’s on another network. How can I now specify a server manually? A poorly thought out update.”
    To which Plex, Inc. replied on May 27, 2013
    “This is why myPlex exists, to allow remote access to server without any configuration.”

    Unfortunately for some of us, our network config is out of our control and may not support broadcasting our server to myPlex. For instance, at my univ, my server is behind a VPN such that anyone on the VPN can access the server, but myPlex (which obviously isn’t) cannot. If I’m off-campus, I could just VPN on my device (as I and my friends regularly do) and watch my media after specifying address, but now it seems we can’t do that anymore, because you think myPlex is all-encompassing. If this issue was addressed, I’d be 100% satisfied.

    @Chris, customers, who purchased the app ARE owed something: functionality. (that being said there are some nicer ways to go about it than what a few may have done).

  19. Tom May 27th, 2013 3:28 am

    “and there’s not much we can do about that.”

    You could listen.

  20. Magicpork May 27th, 2013 4:13 am

    Thanks for the update.. I was one of those who left 1 star review on Google Play yesterday, simply because I can’t connect to the Internet to log in MyPlex and had to tether to update.. Having seen the new UI and all cool features, I’ve changed the rating to 5 stars.

  21. Juan May 27th, 2013 4:28 am

    “and there’s not much we can do about that.”

    You can opt people OUT instead of in….

  22. Juan May 27th, 2013 4:30 am

    Also, if you did care as much as you claim, you’d post the manifestation of permissions and why they are required. Seriously, now I want to know why you need access to ‘your accounts’. Why? If you had all this information posted somewhere, this backlash may not have happened.

  23. Trevor May 27th, 2013 4:48 am

    I don’t own an android phone but I completely agree with the comments made by the Android people.

    1) MyPlex is great but should be optional. If myplex goes down which it has in the past, I’d like to still be able to see my media. If myplex publishing fails, I’d like to know that I can vpn or port forward and see the media. if the internet goes down, I’d like to see my media.

    2) Sneaking in a change to the permissions (especially GPS) without explanation to how or why it would be used. Should have been in the Google Play Description.

    3) Loss of functionality in a disappearing remote app is not acceptable. I use the remote on iOS all the time and would be annoyed if it got taken away. Maybe the program shouldn’t have been released till the functionality is the same.

    That being said, I love what Plex is doing and I know that these things are just the growing pains of a small outfit. I’m just glad Plex is around as I use it on an almost daily basis (lifetime subscriber).

  24. Gondovald May 27th, 2013 5:14 am

    Great work guys, thx again for nice update, I still have some pb with syncing but it might be resolved in the future : I.E:

    I sync 5 movies on my mac to my Xperia Z in the evening.
    I open Plex (sync screen) on the Xperia and plug the charger in.
    In the morning, plex has been closed and NO movies are synced.

    Why is that ? Xperia Z has 2Gb of RAM, nothing is running on the phone.

    Why does plex closes during the night ?
    Why no movies are synced…

    Cheers,

  25. Pedro May 27th, 2013 5:46 am

    Yeah, some people are jerks.

    Hm, wish there were screenshots of that remote widget.

  26. Rodalpho May 27th, 2013 5:58 am

    I don’t use the android client, but if you remove features from or add restrictions to a paid program, you need to tell people about it. Seems reasonable enough to me, lesson learned, right?

  27. easy May 27th, 2013 6:09 am

    After the update my local server is found, but then lost again. I can’t get any listings for my library. Just blank pages.

    Using a Nexus 4 Android 4.2.2 with app version 3.0.1.0.

    Anything I can do?

  28. Aly Khemani May 27th, 2013 6:15 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your passion, hard work and part of your soul that you have coded into these products.

    There is at least one user that appreciates and is thankful for that.

    Keep on creating and enhancing, everything else will be fine

    Aly

    P.S. Lots of love to Barkley

  29. Treibwerk May 27th, 2013 7:00 am

    Just a couple of thoughts about myPlex..

    I have mixed feelings about the path you’re taking. Making myPlex mandatory or even integrating more features into myPlex seems problematic to me:

    You’re making the communication of 2 Devices dependant on another service which is out of the users control.

    What if myPlex is down (see the “MyPlex currently down?” thread in the myPlex forums)?
    What if my internet connection fails?
    What if all you Plex developers decide it’s been a fun ride, but now you feel it’s time for other ventures?

  30. Ian May 27th, 2013 7:36 am

    Plex pass is awesome. The haters and paranoids can suck it, IMO.

  31. Cameron Spear May 27th, 2013 7:37 am

    As a fellow developer, I have totally been in your shoes. And this blog post handles it WAY better than I ever would have.

    There are always growing pains when you do something major like this. I’m definitely willing to stick it out and am excited at the new and improved features/performance already here and coming down the pike.

    Keep up the good work. I am confident you will stomp out any bugs and continue making great products.

  32. Jibs May 27th, 2013 8:15 am

    I also want to make sure it’s known how much I appreciate plex and the work you do. And I for one am looking forward to ALL the updates. Yes even the location one. I’ve been dying for the feature to see who’s watching my server. I believe it’s about give and take. Yes, plex will know my location, but in return I get a feature I want. Like they say, with great power comes great responsibility. And because of their clear lines of communication, I think they understand that responsibility and have my trust. Great work!

  33. dev May 27th, 2013 9:49 am

    all you people act like if your location was a top secret confidentiality and you were some iranian ambassadors who’s being hunted by a special super secret spy agency. cmon, nobody gives a CRAP where you at. smh geek nowadays

  34. Ccrunch May 27th, 2013 10:14 am

    Hey.
    Awesome that you update everything.
    But i had ask about plex trailer support on the blog post before this, and all what you did is killing my post!
    Many peoples are want trailer support (see Forum) and other people are asked in the blog posts too and all what happens is nothing.
    Do you still develope it or do you still forget to change it, and still end the developing without doing anything?
    I will not saying that i hate plex, i still love it, but were are much thinks that users want, not only support for trailer.
    I looking in Xbmc and other Mediacenters, but i still want use plex for the moment.

    Maybe you give your users a answer about the status of the development of these?

    Thanks

    Ccrunch

  35. elan May 27th, 2013 10:28 am

    @Ccrunch ~ Trailers are on the list, along with lots of other things. Looking at the PlexPass forums with feature voting, Trailers is in #6 spot, which shows that people consider 5 other things more important :)

  36. elan May 27th, 2013 10:35 am

    @easy ~ what server version are you running? head into plex chat if you’d care for interactive help.
    @ Gondovald ~ please post logs to the forum, we’ll look into it!

  37. elan May 27th, 2013 10:43 am

    @Juan ~ like this?

    android.permission.INTERNET – should be pretty obvious
    android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE – based on network changes we look for servers that have come/gone, recompute best connection.
    android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE – for PlexSync
    android.permission.CHANGE_WIFI_MULTICAST_STATE – discovery protocol uses broadcast/multicast
    android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE – again, to keep track of when we might need to check for new servers
    android.permission.WAKE_LOCK – don’t fall asleep when watching a movie!
    android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS – IIRC we use to build a default name for the device.
    com.google.android.c2dm.permission.RECEIVE – we use GDM for things listed in the post.
    com.plexapp.plex.permission.C2D_MESSAGE – another GDM permission.

  38. elan May 27th, 2013 10:45 am

    @Steve ~ we are going to address that issue by allowing (a) soft-publishing to myPlex (meaning just sending up server IP) and (b) customizing the IP reported back.

  39. Raphael May 27th, 2013 11:21 am

    This is a disgraceful blog post, with a disgusting tone dressed up in a pretty package, supported by generally mindless individuals who know nothings about computer security and VERY real privacy concerns. It seems they can’t even attempt to know better than just say “We are not so silly as those dumb android users”.

    Further more, to flame a user with real concerns by publishing them on this blog is not even worthy of further comment. That guy previously PAID for an app that was working to a fashion and felt he had terrible service, and like a lot of people was very angry.

    You don’t treat users like idiots and force a change to mandatory login for an application they have ALREAY PAID FOR!! To add further insult to injury, rather than just apologize like a normal organisation, you then seek to belittle the users who were unhappy?

    I honestly thought the Plex team was better than this thoughtless mindless childlike behaviour, and was a group of people that could be trusted.

    I feel really let down and ashamed that I may have been totally fooled about the quality of people working for and supporting Plex.

  40. elan May 27th, 2013 11:27 am

    @Raphael ~ if you read what I wrote, you’ll see that when I said “those permissions aren’t being used for anything at the moment. How silly is that?” I was referring to *US* being silly for including the permission in the first place. And we’re not flaming anyone, all we did was post a public review on the blog. Concerns about privacy and missing features are completely fine, but is it wrong to expect that any dialog involves a modicum of civility?

    I’m sorry you don’t feel we did enough. We worked our asses off to fix the things that people had issues with as soon as possible, and tried to explain clearly why we made the decisions in the first place.

  41. François Gendron May 27th, 2013 2:04 pm

    First, I just want to say thank you to the Plex team for all the hard work you have put it to make Plex the best media environment there is. I have been using Plex for a long time now, and sincerely appreciate what it does.

    I am also glad to see that you backtracked on the login requirement to MyPlex, as this was something that was already worrying me for a while, and seeing this requirement on Android had me very concerned. I am glad to hear the PHT login is only for the beta, and that it was removed for the Android.

    I still feel the location requirement should also be removed.

    However I would like to thank you again for listening to our concerns.

  42. elan May 27th, 2013 2:39 pm

    @François ~ the location requirement was removed :)

  43. Shawn May 27th, 2013 4:19 pm

    Seems people just overreact.

    I’m glad to have an easy way to watch my media from multiple devices and have the ability to pick up from one to the other.

    Both the PlexPass version and the regular Android version are great. I’m sure you’ll continue pushing out great updates in the future and I look forward to what you’ve got up your sleeve.

    1 question: I have both versions installed on my tablet and now the regular version also has an entry that shows in the share menus. Is there a way you can label them or differ them a bit? Never sure which I’m using…

    Keep up the good work, folks.

  44. elan May 27th, 2013 5:41 pm

    @Shawn: we’ll look into badging them differently, but I recommend sticking with the PlexPass version if you have it. It’ll be (if anything) ahead of the other version.

  45. Joshua Richards May 27th, 2013 6:07 pm

    You should consider switching to Google+ Single Sign On

  46. Gavel May 27th, 2013 7:39 pm

    @Raphael

    “This is a disgraceful blog post, with a disgusting tone dressed up in a pretty package, supported by generally mindless individuals who know nothings (nothing) about computer security and VERY real privacy concerns.”

    You’re not making any arguments. You’re just insulting your opponents, and bringing up points you aren’t actually debating. You say that these are VERY (putting a word in all caps doesn’t make it valid) real concerns, but you don’t say why these are real concerns in the body of your argument. Simply saying that someone is wrong is not an argument that they are in fact wrong.

    ” It seems they can’t even attempt to know better than just say “We are not so (as) silly as those dumb android users”.”

    You’re trying to create an “Us vs Them” mentality by implying that the developers have something against android users. I don’t see where you arrive at this point, as I see no evidence that the developers have such an opinion, and the fact that they are developing for the system seems to argue against this.

    “Further more (Furthermore), to flame a user with real concerns by publishing them on this blog is not even worthy of further comment. That guy previously PAID for an app that was working to a fashion and felt he had terrible service, and like a lot of people was very angry.”

    The developers are giving reasons for their decisions, and they do not insult any individual in their blog post, therefore you are using term “Flaming” inaccurately. You should be arguing that their anecdotal example of someone unhappy with their changes as a straw man argument, rather than “Flaming”. Your statement that is was “Not worthy of comment” is an appeal to ridicule.

    “You don’t (shouldn’t) treat users like idiots and force a change to mandatory login for an application they have ALREAY PAID FOR!!(unnecessary exclamation) To add further insult to injury, rather than just apologize like a normal organisation (organization), you then seek to belittle the users who were unhappy?(.)”

    I recommend you more calmly collect your thoughts and construct an argument rather than angrily insulting your opponent. Doing so will make your argument more valid and make people take you more seriously.

  47. Raphael May 27th, 2013 9:10 pm

    @Gavel if you think you are being smart, you have failed miserably. And if you are a member of the Plex team then my points have just been proven by the substance of your reactionary response, no matter how hard you tried to work through it. The presumption of anger is also flawed. But the truth can feel pretty angry to some when points are hit home.

    One does not reference Swope after making a failure of judgement in the magnitude that happened here, if that is not SERIOUSLY condescending then I don’t know what is. What would have “pleased everyone” was actually clear, and if you don’t get it I suggest you take as long as required to think about it, otherwise Apple may yet have a rival in the arrogance stakes.

    You also don’t just stick a knife in a persons chest to remove a medical problem without communicating and asking them permission FIRST, unless of course they are not conscious. Think about it.

    I have used Plex for a while, have really liked the organisation, liked the community. Trust is a hard thing to gain and an easy thing to destroy, and I like others had started to trust. Whether you choose to accept it or not, this has been a learning experience that could have been avoided.

    I understand the Plex team are human beings, we all make mistakes. You can’t go through life without tripping up, but how you recover is a fundamental part of the journey.

    I have made many errors, perfection is not my strong point, but I usually recognise a problem when I see one…………

  48. Justin May 27th, 2013 9:56 pm

    Ignore the ignorant! The new Plex for Android rocks! Massive improvement, keep up the great work. This version kept me from defecting to XBMC :-)

  49. elan May 27th, 2013 10:10 pm

    @Raphael/Gaven ~ peace!

  50. Joshua Richards May 27th, 2013 10:39 pm

    @Elan will there also be an in-app remote? w. scrub bar / volume?

    I’m absolutely in love with Plex again, even if the Medialink support isn’t there. Speaking of which, will the remote be able to connect to the LG Medialink/plex?

  51. Raphael May 27th, 2013 10:54 pm

    @elan Peace requested and granted from this corner, conflict is not my thing.

    I am an evangelist for a customer concentric humble approaches, it served me without exception for 20 years in IT, no matter the level of provocation, particularly when a problem couldn’t be solved.

    I wish you and your team every success. I do have an understanding of how hard you all work without me needing to go into detail about my personal history, and have shamelessly enjoyed the fruits of your endeavors like many others. I also understand the requirement and difficulties in trying to make those efforts reap the much deserved rewards, and a few of the pitfalls.

    Peace

  52. CCrunch May 27th, 2013 11:47 pm

    @ Elan:

    Im Not a Plex Pass User.
    Can you please say me wahat are the other 5 Feature Request from the Plex Pass Forum?

    THX

  53. Gavel May 28th, 2013 2:26 am

    @Raphael

    I am not a member of the Plex team, although I cannot prove this to you. My attempt was to help you make a more clear argument.

    Reactionary means “Opposed to change; urging a return to a previous state.” which is not within my initial post. My post made no claim to support the developer at all or any model, old or new. Rather to show where you could improve your argument. It would’ve been more appropriate to call it Pedantic.

    You’re accusation that I am a member of the Plex community is both a straw-man argument as well as an argument from hypothesis.

    I apologize for the assumption of anger. I was lead to believe such by the over-usage of capitals and your tendency to make insults rather than arguments. The assumption was wrong of me.

    Also I must ask for what you mean by “referencing Swope”. I am unfamiliar with that term. Could you expand upon it?

    Your comparing their arrogance to Apple again goes back to the “us vs them” paradigm I previously mentioned and can lend to angering those who support Apple rather than helping your point.

    That being said, I find this response much more clear, and find your arguments more compelling in this response, especially in the latter paragraphs. Thank you for the clarifications on your initial statements.

  54. TTlequals0 May 28th, 2013 4:53 am

    Plex is awesome i use it every day but there is one feature that would be nice to have. This feature is onscreen volume control. It would make watching my content on my lunch break a lot easier since the volume buttons on my galaxy note are on the side that is on the table when i use the stand.

  55. David May 28th, 2013 7:16 am

    where is the remote widget? It doesnt show up anywhere on my S3. I only have the option to play on my phone or desktop client, there are no controls whatsoever.

  56. MockY May 28th, 2013 7:36 am

    Very nice update. Thank you very much, but as always, the music player was left alone. If only some love could be had for the music player portion of the app (playlists and whatnot) and a native Linux client (so I can replace XBMC). But as a Swede would have said it: Mycket vill ha mer.

  57. Joshua Richards May 28th, 2013 8:46 am

    @David update the app, in your homescreen widgets, there is a remote widget.

    Also, when you use the “play on” function, a notification widget is created.

    They need to set up an education page about this app me-thinks.

  58. Dush May 28th, 2013 8:47 am

    For the future: just release it as a separate app to the old one as it is functionally different.

    I’m missing the ability to play on the XBMC Plex client. That’s the sole reason I payed for the old Plex so have restored it from the old APK. I don’t use any of the local streaming features, Bubble uPnP better suits my requirements as it off loads to better external players (Dice, MXVideo etc which can do DTS decoding, auto brightness settings etc.

  59. dodger May 28th, 2013 9:52 am

    All I can say is wow! I was a die hard XBMC user and converted to Plex on my media PC about 6 months ago and haven’t looked back. The transcoding to different devices still amazes me. I don’t know what secret sauce you put into this android release but the performance is stunning! I can direct play most video types on my phone now. I’m off to purchase a lifetime plexpass now because you guys deserve it.

  60. elan May 28th, 2013 10:52 am

    @Dush ~ I don’t see how that solves the issue. We wanted this to be a free upgrade for existing users, so a separate app doesn’t make sense. Besides a few bugs and needing to flesh out remote control, this new version has much richer functionality than the older release.

  61. George May 28th, 2013 5:18 pm

    I updated Plex android app 3 days ago and everything is collapsed! WHY? Why spend some much time and effort to ruin nicely working app??? Why should i read all this forums to troubleshoot issues that were caused by this latest update? I do not want/like online accounts. Sure, give it to people who want them. But remember that there are many others that do not like online accounts for various reasons.

    I am very upset now coz all i wanted to do is watch a movie from my PMS that i used it for so many years. Now I cannot! :(

    Can we install the previous version? The one before this latest one? I don’t want any feature! everything was working fine… But not anymore! :(

  62. easy May 28th, 2013 6:33 pm

    @elan looks like a service restart on the server fixed my issue.

    Thanks!

  63. Paul May 28th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Hey guys. I’ve read a few dodgy comments on the reviews on the play store and also from the comments on your posts.

    I’ve been using Plex for a few months now and been paying monthly for the plex pass, before this i was having to unplug my usb drives and move them around the house which was a complete hassle for me.. Since discovering Plex it has really made things simple, it pretty much takes away the hassle when dealing with the amount of media i have and the amount of drives i have. The folk who gives you 1 star, who like to moan etc etc are obviously folk that ain’t tech savvy and have no idea what they’re doing therefore giving you bad ratings.

    Plex for me is fantastic, best piece of online kit i’ve found in a good while. I now use it across my Galaxy s3, nexus 7, Roku player and my WDTV live player and i must stress, completely hassle free!

    Top work guys and keep up the brilliant work

  64. Dmitry May 29th, 2013 2:01 am

    Nice, but it seems you’ve completely discontinued windows phone client. Too bad :(

  65. ofb May 29th, 2013 3:40 am

    Is this version not going to be pushed to the amazon app store? That’s where I bought mine a while back and it is still showing version 2.5.4.7 as being the newest on there.

  66. Dush May 29th, 2013 8:06 am

    Elan, I meant a separate app that still used the same license credentials as the original. So people who wanted to use the new version could, people who wanted to use the old version could.

    I guess this is all an experience for you and your team, even completely free stuff like XBMC gets complaints all the time. When you’re charging people think they own you so feel entitled to complain.

    Working in customer services myself the people that tend to get the best service are those that are pleasant and reasonable.

  67. elan May 29th, 2013 10:09 am

    @ofb: it will, we’re just trying to get through the pressing issues with the brand new release before publishing over there :)

  68. elan May 29th, 2013 10:14 am

    @Dush: There is unfortunately no way to “use the same license credentials” in iOS or Android app stores. It’s definitely an experience :)

  69. Jorge May 29th, 2013 12:15 pm

    @elan.

    Hi. I believe this update is awesome. I’m still getting used to where everything is now. But I do believe that change is good. The only thing I have not yet been able to find out is how to make the client auto adapt for the network speed.

    My server has only 1.5 mbps upstream, so when I’m trying to watch a movie On my office I get a lot of buffering pauses. I have to manually reduce the connection speed to watch without pauses. When I get home I have again to manually increase the speed to enjoy crisper video.

    If I’m not mistaken. The previous app automatically adjusted the speed to avoid these pauses.

    Everything else is amazing! Considering that lifetime plexpass subscription seriously!

  70. elan May 29th, 2013 12:21 pm

    @Jorge ~ Thanks for the kind words! We don’t have the auto-adjustment enabled any more because we found it caused more problems than it solved. There are two settings for quality (local LAN and remote), so it *should* be using each when appropriate. The new transcoder is a teeny bit aggressive so it might actually go over what’s advertised, so try turning it down a bit more than you might expect.

  71. Jorge May 29th, 2013 12:27 pm

    @elan

    I see what you suggest. However. If I’m conected to a LAN, no matter if it is in my home or at work the app will default to using the local setting. Remote (or cellular) I believe is only used when indeed a cellular connection is being used.

  72. elan May 29th, 2013 12:42 pm

    @Jorge ~ yes, that’s correct, we simplified it down to two settings, b/c we found that all the different quality settings were confusing people. In your scenario, however, I can see how a third “Remote” setting would help :)

  73. Jorge May 29th, 2013 12:47 pm

    That would be awesome! Thanks for your time and hard work!
    Count me in for the lifetime plexpass!

  74. frazzled May 29th, 2013 1:54 pm

    i WAS a plex user until myplex became a requirement. Much like a previois poster mentioned, my server was set up in a DMZ that I accessed using VPN. This was all happy until I upgraded and can no longer manually specify a server in the client. I can appreciate that you are trying to make this simple for less technical folks to use, but killing the ability to manually define a server was a really bad move. All I want to know is if/when the ability to manually define a server will be put back. Every developer is free to make fundamental changes to how their applications work but as a paid customer, rendering my application useless and keeping my money leaves me quite dissatisfied. If you aren’t going to fix this, you should offer refunds. If you dont feel that customers deserve a fix or a refund, I can take a pretty sound guess at how long plex will remain relevant based upon the mentality demonstrated in that decision alone.

  75. elan May 29th, 2013 2:01 pm

    @frazzled ~ myPlex is not a requirement.

    If you’d like the old version of the application, contact me via email (elan at plexapp). You have to understand, first of all, that your scenario is not one that the vast majority of our users run into. Most can use myPlex, or not use myPlex and use the local detection. However, we’re not abandoning those with esoteric needs. You can contact me for the old version of the app and/or wait until we allow specifying the IP addresses that are published to myPlex. That will solve the issue without requiring clients to implement the manual addition feature. If you refuse to use myPlex for philosophical reasons, stick with the old version.

  76. frazzled May 29th, 2013 5:41 pm

    Email sent.

    Not to be argumentative, but i fail to understand why Plex insists on inserting its own hosted service into the flow by having users add IP addresses to myplex manually? What was so fuundamentally wrong with allowing users to directly configure an address or hostname in the client that the developers at plex decided this shouldn’t even be an option in the client, but rather it should only be allowed if it is done on the myplex server side?

    I can perhaps see it simplifying the client code, as it is one less connection model to maintain, but it was already working and changing it will require net new code to be written on the server side. Something about this situation doesnt sound right when I ask myself why this approach would be the one chosen? At a minimum, Inserting myplex into a process flow where it adds no significant customer value (users that were using directly configured servers) suggests that there must be some benefit to Plex.

  77. elan May 29th, 2013 6:12 pm

    @frazzled: the benefit to us is less support, because it works more magically :) (and less development work) this app was a complete rewrite, so there was no killing of that specific feature, we just didn’t add it back. most of our users have multiple clients, this centralizes the management of the IP to one place (the server) and all clients benefit from it, even on a local network (where broadcast/multicast is unreliable).

    In summary, it makes things work much better and more reliably for everyone who isn’t philosophically opposed to cloud services and it allows us to simplify the client code. Make sense?

    (Put another way, what other possible benefit could there be in acting as a free “directory service”, uniting lonely clients with servers?)

  78. BlackIce May 30th, 2013 10:41 pm

    You guys are seriously awesome. As a heavy user of server (supporting several households) and both the mobile and desktop clients, this solution is incredibly seamless and fantastic. You guys seem to be pretty well aware of all the awesome possibilities this architecture presents and I eagerly look forward to new releases.

    That being said, buffering is a bit of a pain over cellular networks (even LTE testing at 15mbps and I’d love to see an “advanced mode” providing a lot more control over transcodes, network and buffer settings, etc. The extra control might help to alleviate some of the issues others seem to be experiencing. I suspect it would also allow advanced users to do a little more to combat a fairly fragmented Android codebase and crazy variety of hardware.

    I’d also love to see a complete client remote interface integrated so I don’t have to use a separate app for something which seems like it would be relatively simple to put in.

  79. Raphael May 30th, 2013 11:10 pm

    After my previous less than “enthusiastic” posts, I must say now that the Plex team have made great strides in sorting out the issues with the Android version, and have indeed listened to it’s users.

    Well done.

  80. Roger May 31st, 2013 8:07 pm

    79 comments and not one comment about the “vein” thing… maybe ya’ll (and I don’t meant the author) should read a little bit and not just watch stuff. Anyway, the word is “vain”

  81. elan June 1st, 2013 12:10 am
  82. Filip June 3rd, 2013 9:15 am

    Mine keeps crashing on Galaxy S3 :(

  83. elan June 3rd, 2013 9:59 am

    @Filip ~ any chance of logs/crash report?

  84. locohost July 10th, 2013 3:32 pm

    was using subsonic for a while then came across plex. keep it up. I just singed up for plex pass too, though 1/2 the price of netflix seems kinda high since is byo-Media. A guarentee

    Never the less, a dog has to eat. Thanks for all you guys are doing.
    Flip, I have a G3 and never experienced 1 crash so far..though dont watch for hrs on end on my phone and only over lan.

  85. locohost July 10th, 2013 3:35 pm

    I started to say, but didnt complete the though in P1 was that a guarantee that you guys will be in business in 3 years would make the lifetime membership a no-brainer, though I have not worked out the logistics of how that could work.

  86. Shannon July 19th, 2013 2:27 pm

    I am still unable to stream to my HTC one when not on the local network. Is there any kind of a work around? Is there any information or way for me to assist in solving this issue? Thanks for the awesome work so far… When the kinks get worked out this app will be awesome!!!

  87. Juan October 11th, 2013 3:57 pm

    Hi!
    Can you please add both volume and brightness controls to Plex…something along the lines of the way mxplayer and dice player work ?

    Awesome application, just missing this which will make it better :)

  88. Franklin January 6th, 2014 11:11 pm

    I would like to be able to connect to my plex server remotely by simply entering it’s IP address. I do not care for any interaction with external websites in order to accomplish this fuction. How can I do this? Where is the ability to enter a remote address manually?

  89. elan January 7th, 2014 1:08 pm

    @Franklin ~ you can enter a remote IP in advanced preferences. This is intended for LAN scenarios, though. Some people manage to get it working via VPN, but it’s not a supported use case.

  90. Scott Copus January 8th, 2014 7:40 am

    I have an older Android tablet (Acer A500) that I sometimes plug into my TV to watching movies. Since the ‘Plex for Android’ app costs money, can somebody tell me if I can control the app with a USB or bluetooth keyboard or remote?

    I’m a noobie to Plex and love it and thinking about getting this nice universal IR+Bluebooth remote with keyboard & touchpad:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1NV0UB9393
    Anybody else use these brand devices?

    How similar is Plex for Android compared to Plex Home Theater?

    Lastly, can Plex/Web be controlled with a keyboard/remote?

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