It’s been almost 7 months since I joined Huffington Post’s iOS team. I’ve been so excited about what we’ve been working on that I forgot to write about the first app that we published a few months ago: HuffPost Live for iPad.
For those of you who haven’t heard of HuffPost Live, it is a live-streaming video network that uses the best content on the Huffington Post and around the web to jumpstart community-driven conversation and commentary.
HuffPost Live launched last August but it’s already experienced great success. Last December it was named Mashable’s biggest media innovation of 2012. At the moment, the app itself is number 15 on Apple’s Top Free iPad News Apps, ahead of HuffPost’s flagship news app (#19) and the Huffington magazine (#26).
Things are only going to get better and better for HuffPost Live. It makes me very proud that I could be a part of it.
Without further ado, this is what the app looks like when you first open it in landscape:
A couple of things to notice here:
Live Segment: Each segment is about 30 minutes long. Each segment has its own topic, its own host and its own set of guests.
Comments section: Each segment also has live comments. Sometimes, the host will feature interesting comments that add to the conversation.
Be An On-Air Guest: Anyone from the community who has something useful to contribute can tap on the red button, complete a short audition process and join a live segment as a guest using Google Hangout.
Coming Up: Right under the live segment is the list of upcoming segments. While a segment is in “green room” mode, you can audition to be a guest or leave a comment.
If you tap on the segmented control below the sharing button, the app will take you to the segment’s resource well:
The resource well is a repository of different types of information (HuffPost articles, photos, tweets, etc…) relevant to the current segment.
Now, if you turn the iPad on its side…
Portrait mode looks completely different than landscape mode. The live video takes up half of the screen. The list of upcoming segments is still accessible if you swipe the comments section to the right.
Notice the white button above the title? That wasn’t there in landscape mode. Tapping on it takes you to…
Grid-style comment (or sexy mode as we know it internally). If you tap on the arrow button you can even make these grid comments full-screen:
Why would you need full-screen comments in a video streaming app, you ask? Second screen experience, my friend.
In this mode, you can send the video stream to your Apple TV using AirPlay and interact with the comments at the same time. This is something unique to the iPad app that the website can’t do.
Live content is great, but what if you want to watch a previous segment? Simply tap on the Archive button and it will take you to this screen:
Here you can see all the recently aired segments. If you want to go further back, you can do a search on the top right.
Tapping on an archived segment takes you to a similar screen as the live segment, but with minor differences. This is what an archived segment looks like: