Sling Media on Monday unveiled a hugely redesigned iOS app—SlingPlayer 3.0—that puts more emphasis on discovery and second-screen content. The app wasn't designed merely with consuming in mind; it was carefully crafted so users can watch TV exactly how they want to. Along with the app, a SlingPlayer channel is also being added to Roku, allowing users to watch their live or recorded TV through the little black box. Meanwhile, a Windows 8.1 app is being developed though it isn't expected to be available until December.
In SlingPlayer 3.0, the experience is becoming more of a full on entertainment center rather than making it simple to watch live and recorded TV. In addition to easier content discovery, SlingPlayer 3.0 is putting greater focus on the sports experience, along with the social aspect that comes along with watching TV. For example, programming can be filtered based on a user's social media likes, and you can easily let Facebook friends know what you're watching; Twitter users can even join in on real-time conversations.
With new second screen control, Slingbox customers can essentially turn their iPad into the world's most powerful controller, while split-screen navigation lets users browse for other Slingbox content—view show details, check social networks, and see live sports stats—while watching video on that same device. Think of the snap feature in Windows 8, and it's little like that.
The convenience of a new SlingPlayer app will make it simple to watch live or recorded TV in another room in your house. "Use cases would include households with a second TV in the home, in vacation homes or in college dorms," Sling explained. All of Roku's latest devices —Roku 3, Roku 2 XS, Roku 2—support the new feature, and require a user with an iPhone or Android phone with SlingPlayer mobile.
SlingPlayer 3.0 requires iOS 7.0 or higher, and both the new app and channel for Roku are available to download today.