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Brightcove Native Player SDK for Android 4.4 Release: HLS Playback and Controls!

Brightcove Native Player SDK for Android 4.4 Release: HLS Playback and Controls!

With comScore data revealing a 100+% year-over-year increase in people watching TV/video via their smartphones daily (comScore Mobilens, April 2015) media companies are focused on building compelling mobile video experiences - both mobile web and native apps - to capture this growing audience. However, from designing a compelling user interface to handling a range of video formats, there are inherent challenges that can drain their technical resources and hinder their mobile development efforts.

Brightcove’s Native Player SDKs for iOS and Android help our customers bring a high quality video player experience into their native applications while also decreasing the time to market and costs associated with development. With our latest update of the Brightcove Native Player SDK for Android, version 4.4, we address two critical components of native applications with video: playback of the HLS video format and the player interface.

HLS Playback

The Android platform has had a tumultuous history with HLS playback across its many versions and hardware manufacturers. The top hits on a Google search for “Android HLS” speak for themselves; the platform has desperately needed a way to provide a quality HLS experience for a long time.

Today we are happy to present HLS playback as a part of our SDK for Android. We leverage the open source ExoPlayer as a new base to the functionality of the SDK and then enable both our own engineers and customers to get their hands dirty with the low level code, creating transparency and harnessing the power of the open source community.

Uniting the iOS and Android platforms on HLS reduces the cost, time and complexity for media companies that provide solutions across these environments. Now customers can create, store and play back the same HLS assets for both iOS and Android, removing the need for multiple formats and providing a cross platform adaptive bitrate streaming solution.

This first release provides a complete solution for HLS playback requirements. We’ve added our own enhanced Closed Captions rendering, ported over our Analytics and Advertising integrations, and of course made using Brightcove Video Cloud as easy as ever. To get started, check out our sample applications and README.

Brightcove Native Player Controls

User interface is a critical component of native applications requiring a delicate balance between functionality and aesthetics. Designing, developing and sometimes starting all over again is tremendously expensive and time-consuming for app creators. As experts on all aspects of native video, we felt that it was high time we provided some tools to make the interface of the native player easier to work with.

The Brightcove Native Player Controls deliver a beautiful set of controls right out of the box, as seen in the photo below. Built with the diverse nature of Android devices and content in mind, the controls will automatically detect and adapt to the video container size as well as display different layouts for video on demand, Live or Live DVR.

The Brightcove Native Player Controls aim to cover the majority of native video use cases but can also be customized for specific design themes or functionality.

Be sure to check out the feature level documentation to learn more about what the Brightcove Native Player Controls can do to make bringing a video player into your application easy.

The world of mobile video is a fast-paced and technically challenging environment that we are excited to be a part of. Bringing HLS playback to our Android SDK free of charge opens up a world of possibilities to customers seeking to increase their Android exposure, and what better way to build an application then with the UI coming right out of the box?

Use our Native Player SDKs to create an exceptional video experience in your app