We have a released an iOS app that allows you to watch Tornado Chasers on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. This app provides a simple native experience to browsing and playing episodes from your library. Keep in mind this is a first release and we will continue to improve this app in the future, just keep an eye on this blog for announcements.
Since converting to HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) our streaming is now fully compatible with Apple TV so you can use AirPlay from either the On Demand app or Safari to stream videos to your Apple TV to watch them on your TV. We have always felt that the best way to experience Tornado Chasers is in the home theater and this is why we have pushed to get them on devices like Apple TV and Roku.
Is an Android App in the Works?
An Android app would seem like the next logical step, however there is one challenge to creating an Android streaming app for our platform. Android does not support HLS natively across all versions in the wild so to get HLS working on Android we will have to use a third party library. The problem we are facing right now is that there are very few of these libraries available and the those that are come at an extremely high price that makes it unaffordable for our budget.
The good news is that we are talking with a company right now that is working to get our hands on an early beta of what will be a very affordable HLS library for Android. There are also open source projects in the works, so regardless of which of these two come first, there will be a native Android HLS solution we can use soon.
We could create an Android app right now without HLS and thus without adaptive bitrate streaming but that would fail our primary goal of bringing adaptive bitrate streaming to Android. So there will definitely be an Android app at some point in the future but we have to wait until we are able to develop it with HLS.
Android Works in the Browser Right Now
Keep in mind that streaming on Android does work in the browser right now. In fact this should work on not just Android and iOS but pretty much all smart phone browsers including Windows Phone and Blackberry. You can view the mobile web section of our supported devices page for more details.
Regardless of the Android HLS hurdle we are still targeting other parts of the Google ecosystem. We have developed Google Chromecast integration that allows you to stream Tornado Chasers on their affordable (~$35 USD) streaming device connected to your TV, again providing another way to get Tornado Chasers into the living room. We are now just waiting on Google to move the SDK out of developer preview status. That means that right now it only works on our devices that our whitelisted for development, as you can see by the notice here. As soon as Google releases the final version of the SDK we will make our integration publicly available.