Apple TV adds Plex and VLC apps

The VLC developers announced that while it's still early days, they've achieved video playback. The Plex co-founder was also quoted as saying, "There is no question, we will be able to offer Plex on the platform. We are now evaluating the best path for Plex and will begin work in earnest once we have evaluated the options."A tvOS version of Plex is in development. Currently, Plex works with set-top boxes like the Chromecast and the Fire TV, and it is a popular choice with jailbroken Apple TVs, but it is not available to Apple TV users in any official capacity. Plex is designed to organize personal media libraries consisting of video and music files, allowing them to be easily streamed to TVs and other devices, either locally or remotely.

The new Apple TV announced last week has been overhauled with Siri search and its own App Store. Apple's latest fourth-generation Apple TV includes a dedicated App Store, which will allow users to access many apps and features that were not previously available on the older Apple TV. Popular media streaming apps Plex and VLC are both coming to the Apple TV, with tvOS versions already in the works. 

These were predictable developments, but are still hugely important news; these apps allow you to stream your local content to the Apple TV from different devices, and free you up from depending only on the online streaming services that the Apple TV supported up until now. This is particularly relevant in a country like India, where the absence of services like Netflix takes away the usability of something like the Apple TV, or the Amazon Fire TV.

It's worth pointing out that these apps have been available on most Android set-top boxes for a while now. And in India at least, they're a very big part of the typical usage. One Android set-top box manufacturer recently told that the most used app on its device is YouTube, but that's immediately followed by a number of different video playback services, including Plex, XBMC, and VLC. The user pattern in India is going to be different from that in the US, or Europe, but it's a good sign for Apple, particularly as the company starts to focus more on markets like India and China.


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