VLC launches full support for iOS 9, watchOS 2, SMB and more

By , Dec 22, 2015

VLC holiday teaser

Cross-platform media player by VideoLAN, called VLC, has been rewritten from the ground up for watchOS 2. And on the iOS side, VLC comes with many new features.

VLC plays a variety of video/audio files in non-iOS-friendly formats without conversion, including MKV movies.

The app also includes support for multiple audio tracks with 5.1 surround sound and subtitle tracks. In addition, VLC for iOS has dropped support for iOS 6.1 and now requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0+.

UPDATE: The post originally stated that VLC is now available on the new Apple TV. Regrettably, that announcement was an oversight on part of VideoLAN, which has since removed mentions of the Apple TV app from their release notes.

“Of course we will release such an app, but it is still stuck in app review,” Felix Paul Kühne, developer of VLC’s ports to OS X and iOS, informed me via email.

The updated VLC experience on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad includes official support for iOS 9’s split-screen multitasking modes on iPads.

Moreover, you can now use Touch ID to protect the app, configure gestures to navigate your media and search VLC content in iOS’s Spotlight Search right on the Home screen.

As a cherry on top, VLC now supports SMB file sharing and includes a completely rewritten watchOS 2 app for your Apple Watch. Due to adapted review guidelines, the app is now branded “VLC for Mobile” on the App Store.

VLC for Apple TV app icon
VLC is coming soon to the 4th generation Apple TV.

VLC for iOS 2.7 changelog

Here’s everything new in this release of VLC:

  • Dropped support for iOS 6.1. VLC requires iOS 7.0 now
  • Added support for SMB file sharing
  • Re-wrote Apple Watch extension for watchOS 2
  • Media stored in folders on remote servers is now played as a list
  • Reworked networking UI
  • Added support for system-wide search “CoreSpotlight”
  • Added improved UI support for Right-to-Left languages
  • Added support for the split-screen appearance in iOS 9
  • Added support for Touch ID to unlock app
  • Added option to configure playback continuation
  • Added option to configure gestures
  • Added support for music albums with more than 1 disk
  • Display chapter duration in playback UI
  • Recently played network stream URL are now shared across all devices
  • Stored login information is now shared across all devices
  • Cloud login credentials are now shared across all devices

Availability

VLC for iOS requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 7.0 or later. VLC for Apple Watch requires watchOS 2.

The app is localized in English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Belarusian, Bosnian, Cambodian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Faeroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Singhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian.

VLC for iOS and watchOS 2 is a free download in the App Store.

VLC for OS X is available for download on the VideoLAN website.

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  • Infuse is way better on iOS and tvOS.
    Nice try, pals.

    • Infuse failed at playing x265 video on my 5s while VLC played it only with minor graphical glitches. VLC is much better at video playback

      • Tim

        Try AVPlayer, it plays all formats with no glitches at all. The interface is very well done and pleasant to the eye.

    • IMO Infuse provides a better experience overall. VLC is probably better at playing different formats with less issue, though. Also VLC can’t play some format(s?) in some regions.

      I like both, though.

      • 5723alex .

        VLC doesn’t support DTS, AC3 in the US due to Copyrights.

    • 5723alex .

      Infuse failed to stream mkv files on my iPhone 6s Plus to my car’s a/v system over HDMI, while VLC had no problems at all.

    • Devin

      I agree, I’ve always used the free version of Infuse and then I recently purchased Infuse Pro because of how reliable and more user friendly it is. Also, I’ve used VLC in the past for my iPhone and it DRAINS the battery like crazy. Infuse has much better device management.

  • Noohar

    Can someone please test & provide a screen grab to see/show if Picture in Picture; not just Split-Screen; is supported in this new update?

  • モリ ト

    Infuse PRO is by far the best
    I even played DTS-MA without a hiccup.
    Best $9.99 I’ve ever spend.
    My Old Boxee Box is covered with dust ever since.
    Hopefully in future updates they’ll add more features such as “to watch later” playlist, etc.

    • 5723alex .

      VLC plays DTS-MA as well and it’s free. I have both.

      • モリ ト

        You mean on the ATV4?
        Is it DTS-MA passthrough?

      • 5723alex .

        No. On the iPhone, iPad and VLC streaming over HDMI in my car.
        There no VLC for ATV4 yet.

      • モリ ト

        OK, we’ll see if the ATV4 version also has that capability to stream all DTS flavors passthrough.

  • JES

    I’m trying to get an SMB connection to my NAS and it doesn’t work. The App detects the drive, I type in the credentials, tap “connect” and nothing happens. Anybody has been able to take advantage of this new feature?

    • 12centuries

      I’m getting the same thing. There is literally zero information on the web about dealing with this bug.