The Smartphone Revolution Will Be Televised...by Bitbop
Checking out Bitbop television entertainment for BlackBerry smartphones
Maybe it's while waiting for a plane. Or it's on the train for the morning commute. Or your kids are restless in the backseat. Whenever it is, there comes that moment in every BlackBerry® smartphone owner's life when they say, “Entertain me!”
Well, now there is a wonderful entertainment option for your BlackBerry smartphone. Fox Mobile Group has launched its Bitbop™ app for BlackBerry smartphones. We had a chance to try out the new TV app and we like the results.
It's all about TV on the go. Start your free trial now
Start with a free trial HERE. For just $9.99 a month you get shows like 30 Rock®, Family Guy®, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart®, The Office®, Glee®, and Sponge Bob Square Pants® (our personal favorite). Stream the videos or download to your micro-SD™ card. (Movies will soon be available on a pay-per-view basis.)
The Bitbop development team told us that they view Bitbop as a “transformative” app for BlackBerry smartphones. They see Bitbop as a way for software to catch up to powerful hardware found in today's smartphones. The idea is to turn the BlackBerry smartphone into a real portable entertainment platform.
Streaming vs. downloading
We found the app intuitive and easy to use. It's really quite simple. You install the app, subscribe, and pick a TV show you want to watch. From there you decided whether to stream the show (works best on faster Wi-Fi® connections) or download it to your micro-SD™ memory card (best for 3G or 4G connections, but takes up more space).
You could, for example, download an episode of 30 Rock at home and then watch it while on the train to work. Then you can watch another episode at lunch over the restaurant's Wi-Fi connection.
Half-hour shows are about 50MB each and take about 2-3 minutes to download over Wi-Fi, according to Bitbop. The app will automatically connect via Wi-Fi if it is available; otherwise it will default to your carrier connection.
Laughing with Family Guy
To try it out, we found one of our favorite shows: Family Guy from Fox. A few clicks and we were laughing at the hijinks of Peter, Brian, Stewie, and crew. It's hard to explain the delight of watching TV shows on the BlackBerry smartphone.
Most shows are available a day or two after they air on TV, and they will remain available for viewing for several weeks afterwards. As new episodes become available, older shows are rotated out. The Bitbop team tells us that that policy is to keep the viewing experience fresh and lively.
To its credit, the Fox Mobile Group is offering shows from many different networks besides Fox, and Bitbop is currently only available for BlackBerry smartphones on US carriers at this time.
You won't find many sports on Bitbop, or anything similarly perishable. The focus is on episodic series, such as sitcoms, dramas, documentaries, and the like.
Queue it up on the website
The app synchronizes with the Bitbop website, where you can manage your queue for quickly finding shows later on your smartphone. (You cannot watch shows through the website at this time.) Next time you open the app in your BlackBerry smartphone, your queue is waiting for you. It does not download the shows in your queue in the background, however. Each show is either streamed or downloaded when you tell the app you want to watch it.
Bitbop is available now. A free 7-day, 3-show trial is available for new users. Monthly subscriptions are $9.99 per month for unlimited viewing.