The iPhone offers a couple of different options when it comes to viewing media. You can search video using the YouTube app, download and sync your own movies using iTunes or browse for video on compatible websites with Safari. A new app called FirstClip is aiming to integrate each of those three options into one app to enable video searching, streaming and downloading of internet video straight to your iPhone.
Searching for video on FirstClip is like any other search engine. Enter the keywords of your search and FirstClip will scan the web for iPhone compatible video encoded in MPEG or H.264 format. By default, the search engine will look through YouTube and Google Videos for media but you have the option of adding your own compatible websites in the settings tab. Searched videos can then be streamed and viewed immediately or downloaded straight to the app for offline viewing.
The app works fairly well and having the ability to save videos for viewing any time is a nice convenience, especially if you have an iPod Touch or find yourself in an area with limited data service.
FirstClip is priced at $4.99 which may be a costly amount for some to have the ability of being able to download short internet clips. The developers do offer a Lite version to give you a chance to see how the app works but it does come with some limitations. For instance, the search engine will only scan from two sources at a time and you'll only be able to download 10 total videos for offline viewing.
If you're looking for a fast and simple way to take internet video with you without having to convert video files or sync your device to a computer, FirstClip does the job as advertised. It'll just be a matter if you can justify the $4.99 asking price.