TED – official Android app for Technology, Entertainment, Design inspirational & informative talks
Mar 26, 2012 11:34 AM –
TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a series of academic conferences which have claimed huge popularity over the years. TED ‘talks’ consist of sub-20 minute speeches and demonstrations that adhere to the concept of ‘ideas worth spreading‘. A great many TED talks are posted on their website, for free, but it has only been recently that they have launched their official TED Android app.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Great user interface!
- Sharp video images!
- Ability to download videos for offline viewing!
- Easily search for videos using various parameters!
- It would be nice to be able to search by speaker.
- I’d like to know more about upcoming conferences and topics.
TED is pretty much a global institution for the presentation of original thoughts and concepts, new ideas that might at some point change the world. The conference has an esteemed list of previous speakers which include key players in science, technology, the Internet, philosophy and activism. These talks, while just a simple 20 minutes in length, are usually incredibly engaging and informative- some often entertaining, amusing and exciting.
There are several third-party TED apps available, perhaps most notably TED Air, which runs on the Adobe Air platform. These apps, while pretty good, now have the official TED conference app to contend with. The official app is, thankfully, very good indeed. The first noticeable features I liked was the slick and intuitive user interface. It’s very smooth and responsive, making navigation a breeze.
There are numerous ways to search, either by using the search bar or, if you’d prefer to, browse by new and popular talks, tags, themes and viewer ratings. What I felt was simply fantastic was the fact the app lets you download talks for viewing offline. These are saved under a tab called ‘My Talks’ and can be viewed within the app easily and quickly.
While there are a few complaints about video quality according to the comments in the Google Play Store, I found the videos to be incredibly sharp and in high definition. While I most often use the app with a very strong Wi-Fi connection, I thought that all the videos were of superb quality.
There are also a slew of extra features and options that are also worth mentioning. You can save and share the talks you like. Beneath each talk there are suggestions as to which videos you might also like next to others which have similar themes. The wealth of topics covered by the TED talks is quite overwhelming. I found myself bookmarking loads and I’ll probably never get time to watch them all! There are hundreds of topics and themes to check out and a great many hundreds of talks that can be either streamed or downloaded onto your device. It’s an almost immaculate little app, full of great content. If you have any kind of interest in things like technology, philosophy, academia, futurism, education, activism or history this is definitely something you should check out.
TED – Featured talks
TED – Popular
TED – Video screen inc about, watch next and related
TED – Talk themes
TED – Downloads
TED – Tags
TED – Ratings
TED – In-video view
If you’re a fan of the TED conferences this is absolutely the app for you. I prefer this to any of the other third party TED apps I’ve dabbled with for various reasons. The ability to save and download talks means you don’t ever have to miss out on something you’re really interested in. Downloading means you can watch these talks anywhere. The search functionality is also great, I wish there was the ability to search for specific authors, but this aside it is very intuitive and useful.
I also wish there was more information and/or links to the TED conferences, perhaps lists of upcoming events or TED related news. There could perhaps also be a better resource for external links related to the talks given.
Ease of Use:
There are lots of options and they are all very user friendly. From the feature which informs you of similar talks to the way you can search under specific themes and concepts, it’s very impressive.
The TED conferences app is a superb educational tool and genuinely interesting. If you were able to spare 20 minutes every day to watch one talk, you would pick up some significantly insightful and inspiring speeches. I tend to watch just a few every week, either online or (now) in the app, but I always wish I could find time for more.
The interface is something that genuinely sets it apart from the other TED apps out there. This is very polished, smooth and simple to use. It looks very professional and works perfectly. While the ease of use and ability to navigate simply isn’t the main point of the app, these elements certainly make the app very user-friendly.