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ABC Player streams full episodes of ABC shows through Wi-Fi, including Lost, Modern Family, FlashForward, and a bunch more, straight to your iPad. And it's free!
The home page's nice clean design.
The well-designed app has a toolbar along the bottom, with buttons for Featured, Schedule, All Shows, Me, and Info. Featured shows the home page, with most popular, most recent, and staff picked episodes. All the layouts are intended for portrait orientation -- the only time you use ABC Player in landscape mode is when you're actually watching videos.
As you can see, most of the evening shows do get posted for streaming.
The Schedule tab is a nice touch, showing ABC's schedule for the day or the week. Episodes that have already aired and are available for streaming have Watch Now links next to their titles in the schedule grid. You won't have to wait long for the episodes to be available for streaming, either -- we watched current episodes of LOST the day after they aired on TV.
The All Shows tab has thumbnail images of each show available. The evening shows are well represented, and you can also watch daytime shows including All My Children, General Hospital, One Life to Live, and The View.
The All Shows tab has, um, all the shows. Simple, right?
The Me tab has your viewing history in case you want to pick up where you left off. A visual indicator on the thumbnails shows how far into a show you've gotten, but doesn't always start playing from that point. It does most of the time, though.
And a built-in feedback form on the Info tab lets you report issues, which is a really nice touch.
Streaming worked really well -- obviously it requires Wi-Fi (we'll see what happens when the 3G iPad is released later this month). But we got great results on both our office's high-speed Wi-Fi network, and our regular old cable-internet-powered Wi-Fi at home. You'll see fewer commercials than on the TV, but you can't fast-forward through them. Occasional crashes are annoying, but we never had to wait long for loading or buffering, so we're big fans of this app.
Widescreen shows have black bars on the top and bottom since the iPad is 4:3. Don't look so skeptical, Sawyer, this app is solid.
Every time we see the icon on our iPad's home screen, we think, "ABC, Playa!" And indeed, this app has the dope steez.