Infuse 1.3 for iOS (iPad main)

FireCore, the guys who brought you the aTV Flash Black for jailbroken Apple TV boxes, back in April launched their iOS media player app, Infuse, on the App Store.

My initial review praised the attractive user interface and support for more than a dozen non-iOS media formats, but criticized lack of wireless media transfer capability and non-existent AirPlay support, including lack of subtitle streaming over AirPlay which has seriously hampered Infuse’s potential to become my go-to iOS media player.

Staying true to its promise, the team in the meantime has been hard at work expanding on the app’s initial feature set. I’ve been testing today’s 1.3 update for the past week or so and I’m happy to report that – much to my delight – the new version addresses most of the initial complaints I had with it.

Read on for the full reveal…

Infuse originally relied on iTunes File Sharing to sync your media.

Versions 1.3 now adds the useful Wi-Fi file transfers. Simply access the Add Files option and hit the ‘via Browser’ button for instructions. Next, fire up your desktop browser – your iOS device and computer must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network – and visit the link Infuse provides.

Infuse 1.3 for iOS (iPad upload)

You’ll be treated to the gorgeous web interface which looks just like the native app. You can either drag and drop files directly or use the Add button in the web app. If you’re in a hurry, you’d be wise to side-load huge media files by connecting your device to iTunes via a USB cable instead. In addition to browser-based Wi-Fi transfers, Infuse 1.3 supports FTP file transfer as well.

Infuse 1.3 for iOS (browser upload)

Apart from iTunes File Sharing and wireless media transfers, Infuse from before can download videos from your Dropbox and email attachments, using the standard iOS ‘Open In’ feature. Infuse 1.3 also expands on the initial trakt.tv support by permitting you to rate videos and send those shouts to the service.

Infuse 1.3 for iOS (iPad Traktr)

The  most useful enhancement in Infuse 1.3 (at least for me) is AirPlay support. Now at last I’m able to beam those movies to my big screen TV through my Apple TV hockey puck. AirPlay in Infuse 1.3 supports many popular file formats, including MKV, MP4, M4V and a few others.

And should you come across one of the more obscure media formats, these can be streamed in fullscreen by enabling the iOS AirPlay Mirroring feature. Don’t worry, Infuse will guide you to this option, if needed.

Here’s the AirPlay icon during media playback.

Infuse 1.3 for iOS (iPad playback)

Unfortunately, Infuse 1.3 won’t render subtitles over AirPlay, a feature many App Store media players lack or implement poorly. On a more positive note, FireCore tells me they’re working on enabling subtitle streaming over AirPlay in the forthcoming 1.3.1 update.

Infuse 1.3 for iOS (iPad subtitles)

Finally, Infuse 1.3 enables fullscreen TV out when using a HDMI or VGA adapter. You can also post what you’re watching to Facebook or Twitter.

If you’ve initially passed on Infuse over its lack of Wi-Fi transfers and AirPlay support, today’s update has removed those concerns so you may just as well give it a try.

Power users looking for a versatile iOS media player that streams subtitles over AirPlay should wait for the next update to enable this much-needed home theater capability.

Infuse is five bucks on the App Store.

The universal binary weighs in at 43.7MB and supports the iPhone 3GS/4/4/ 5, third-gen iPod touch or later and iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.