PBS today launched a massive expansion of its website and with it comes a new iPad app. PBS for iPad
will allow you to watch 25 full-length programs, include one new show that will be available one week before it debuts on air. Circus
is a multipart documentary premiering in November about the legendary Big Apple Circus. Other shows available include Frontline, Nature, Nova, Antiques Road show and many more.
One new feature for both the website and app is a national and local integration of content. Using IP discovery, local shows will automatically load content for your specific area of the country and also include broader national content as well. Jason Seiken, Senior VP of Product Development and Innovation for PBS Interactive had this to say.
"No one else is national-local integration to this degree. You want to know what's happening around the nation but also what's on locally. Concerts, for instance, are inherently local."
PBS for iPad features a clutter free user interface that includes “thumb-Navigation” at the bottom of the screen. The app will also keep track of what you’ve watched, when and where you left off watching the last time.
An iPhone version of the app will be released in November. This version will not be quite as robust as the iPad version, but should offer enough content to keep most people entertained and informed. According to the PBS press release
“The PBS App for the iPhone and iPod touch will help viewers stay connected with their local station and will permit them to watch previews of the day’s program highlights, video shorts, and full episodes.”
With so many television stations creating apps that link the viewer to shows and allow people to watch what they want, when they want; cable companies will have a difficult time competing with television-style apps. In the future, I can see a day when TV channels are replaced with network apps. Instead of getting the nightly news at a predetermined time, users will simply go to an app and watch the news via the app instead. Oh wait I do that regularly with the NBC Nightly News app. I guess the future is now. Can jetpacks and flying cars be far behind?