Verizon FiOS Mobile App Review
Verizon recently updated its FiOS Mobile app with an awesome feature that has been missing: the ability to watch live TV on your iPad. I spent the better part of yesterday playing around with the new update to the FiOS Mobile app and have been impressed so far.
There are two caveats I need to point out before we get started though, Verizon says the Live TV feature will only work with HD set-top boxes. Standard definition set-top boxes are not able to communicate with the remote control application. In other words, if you want to use this app, you need to upgrade your set-top box.
The other caveat is that the app doesn’t provide streaming access to traditional broadcast channels such as NBC, ABC, CBS or FOX. Additionally, you will not receive every channel you have access to on your current FiOS subscription due to licensing costs. While I’m sure more channels will be available in the future, for now you do have access to 75 really good channels, which you can see the full list of in the graphic at the bottom of the post.
Provided you have the HD set-top box, you’ll need both FiOS Internet and TV services, as well as your Verizon user ID and password to login to the app. Once you’re logged into the app, you will have access to control your DVR, check the programming guide, bookmark on-demand content, see what’s hot, and now, also watch live TV.
Obviously, this is the bread and butter of the app. The live TV feature is why people will be downloading this app and they won’t be disappointed. The video and audio quality is great and the user interface is straight-forward enough. The grid-like layout allows people to easily browse through channels and see what’s on. When you tap on a channel, it gives you the option to watch on your iPad or watch on the TV, as well as provides the show information.
Despite the app giving you the choice of where to watch, once you tap on the channel, it will start playing the channel within the grid-like layout so you don’t miss anything while you make a decision where to watch. A nice touch, I think.
Additionally, if for some reason you don’t like the grid-view, you can change the live TV guide from the grid view to a list view using the option in the top right corner.
In my usage, I noticed that the app locked up a few times and the only way I could fix it was to completely close it from multi-tasking (double tap home button and hold down the app icon until you can X out of it) and then re-opening it. Again this happened a few times but for the most part the app has been fairly stable.
I was disappointed by the DVR feature on the app, mainly because it doesn’t allow for DVR playback, but allows for everything else under the sun with the ability to program your DVR(s) remotely from your iPad. Using the app you can program your DVR to record from anywhere you happen to be, configure a series to be recorded, view the status of any of your DVRs and see how much space is left for recording, view your lists of scheduled and recorded programs, set parental controls, and set bookmarks.
The “What’s Hot” feature is actually pretty cool, too. This feature shows what’s trending in real-time on TV with Verizon customers. How do they do that? Well, apparently, Verizon uses data from subscriber viewing patterns to generate these recommendations in real-time, as opposed to manually selecting the content to display. So if you’re not sure what to watch, this may be worth taking a look at.
Being a new FiOS customer, this was actually one of the things I missed about Optimum, whose iPad app allows you to watch every channel you have on your iPad. Despite Optimum’s app still being better at this time due to the ability to watch every channel you subscribe to, this update to the Verizon FiOS Mobile app is much appreciated and a job well-done.
If you’re a Verizon FiOS customer with an iPad, this is definitely an app worth downloading.
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