VLC for iOS, the iPhone and iPad edition of the popular multi-format media player developed by VideoLAN, has just received an update that delivers a number of improvements, most notably Apple Watch support.
VLC for Apple Watch
Beginning with the new version of VLC for iOS, you can use your Apple Watch as a remote control for VLC on your iPhone.
With VLC for Apple Watch, which is previewed below, you can browse the media library, view information about stored or playing media content, and, of course, control playback of media, which effectively enables you to initiate playback even when the app is in the background on your iPhone.
If you can’t see the preview embedded above, please click here.
The new version of VLC for iOS also boasts the addition of a new mini player feature. This effectively gives you the ability to browse the media library or network services without interrupting playback.
For example, when you tap Done on a movie, its playback continues as indicated by the mini player at the bottom, which shows a minimized version of the video along with the playback controls.
Of course, the mini player works with audio content as well.
When you’re ready to go back to full-screen mode, just tap the rightmost icon on the mini player (the one with the two outward-pointing arrows).
Improved thumbnails and more
The latest update to VLC for iOS also improves the way the app generates and presents thumbnails. In particular, thumbnails displayed in the local media library now show the frame corresponding to the last playback position. Pretty neat.
The newly updated app also offers support for looping playlists, access to password-protected Plex shares, and the following enhancements and fixes aimed at improving the overall user experience:
- New ingest mechanism for audio files
- Improved remote command support
- Fixed crash when playing media from a folder or music album on iPad
- Fixed crash when app goes to background while a video is playing
- Fixed privacy leak when using a passcode to protect the library
- Removed stray popup announcing VLC’s crash all the time while it actually didn’t crash before, but terminated by the user
- Improved reliability when sharing media library on the local network
- Improved media library search delivering more accurate results
- Fixed ‘crop to fill screen’ on iPad
- Fixed issue which prevented downloading of a few files via UPnP
- Fixed crash when screen is being locked during playback
- A large number of bug fixes affecting most parts of the app
If you ever encounter playback issues after updating, try restarting the app, which worked in my case.