VideoLAN has today launched several updates to VLC across its apps on iOS, Android, OS X, and every other platform where the app is available, marking the first time that the company has pushed such a massive coordinated release. The new versions (with the main app numbered 2.2.0), include several features across the various platforms, and VLC says it took more than a year of volunteer work to put them together…
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Among many others, one of the headlining features in this version is that VLC now automatically detects vertical videos and rotates them accordingly on some platforms. The new version includes other new features like the ability to resume video playback from where it left off on the desktop, much improved support for UltraHD video codecs, new hardware acceleration on some platforms, and new compatibility with a “very large number” of unusual codecs. (After all, that’s what VLC is known for, right?)
On iOS, today’s release (individually numbered 2.4.1) marks the return of the app to the App Store after disappearing around the time iOS 8 was released. The most important thing to note here is that support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been added, but the update also includes detection of external subtitles, support for streaming from Google Drive, media library search, UI and stability improvements, and the usual bug fixes among many other changes.
On Android, today’s release (individually numbered 1.1.0) is the first non-beta release for the platform. The update features a new aesthetic design that aligns with Google’s Material Design philosophy, a port of the app’s APIs to Android 5.0, gamepad controller support for navigation, support for pull to refresh, the ability to show videos as a list in portrait, and over 60 bug fixes.
A few platforms, including Android TV, Windows Phone, and Windows RT, are getting their very first public release today. The Android TV app is particularly notable—it’s very barebones in its current form, but surely development will continue.
VLC also took a moment today to announce that they’re working actively on version 3.0.0 for release “later this year.” “We’re working on many new features for VLC 3.0.0 to finish what we’ve started here,” Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president of VideoLAN said.
Here’s the changelog, encompassing most of the important new features:
So, what’s new in VLC 2.2.0, codename WeatherWax?
- Fight the popular vertical video syndrome! VLC automatically detects rotated videos and rotates them using hardware acceleration (on compatible platforms)! This is supported for MP4/MOV, MKV and raw H264.
- Resume playback where you left off. Supported on all the mobile versions of VLC for quite some time, it is now available on the desktop.
- Vastly improved support for UltraHD video codecs like VP9 and H265, including encoding.
- New hardware acceleration mechanism, GPU 0-copy decoding, faster and implementations for Linux, Android, and Raspberry Pi. (Other OSes will have it in 3.0.0)
- Extensions: supported since a long time, we now feature an in-app downloader for the desktop, like Firefox
- Subtitles downloading extension
- Compatibility with a very large number of unusual codecs
- Vastly improved compatibility for problematic files in Ogg, MP4, and WMV.
- Support for Digital Cinema Package to play native movie theater formats.
- Experimental support of Interactive Menus of BluRays: BD-J
- On OS X, we’ve updated the interface for Yosemite compatibility.
- On Android, we rewrote most of the UI to match Google Material Design.
- This is the first public beta releases of Windows Phone, Window RT and Android TV.
- It is also the first non-beta release on Android.
And here’s a list of the new versions and links to their respective stores: