Boxee iPad app coming soon - complete with Boxee Box streaming

Disappointed that the Boxee Box 1.1 software landed without even a mention of the previously teased iPad functionality?

Well so was we at Pocket-lint towers, so we got on the phone to Boxee's VP of marketing, Andrew Kippen, to see what the deal was.

And it's down to quality. Boxee is still all guns blazing in its keenness to get an iPad app out there, but it wants the product to be right before it hits the baying fanboys.

"We had the iPad app, front end, up and running at CES and we were demoing it there but it was another back end that we were using as a stop gap measure," Kippen explained. "We got a lot of great feedback, so after the show we went back and we redesigned the entire app.

"We've now pretty much built out the front end are now working on re-doing the back end. We wanted to have it out with the 1.1 release, but there was a lot of other stuff that went into that we thought was more important to get out."

When we quizzed Kippen to give us a time frame for the app's release he was adamant he didn't want to commit.

"We've no timeline right now," he said. "There's always a lot of moving parts with these things, especially considering we're at the whims of the App Store as to when we're able to release.

"Hopefully, we'll finish up with the iPad app here shortly."

So what of the app? Will it be a standalone iPad app for non Boxee Box users, or a way for Boxee device owners to stream content to their TV from their tab? The answer, it seems, is both.

"There's two different aspects," explained Kippen. "One is local file playback where you'll need your computer running. But if you're just cruising stuff on the web - like YouTube or Vimeo and things like that - you can view that directly on the iPad".

"We're building media server software that can enable you to play content back from your computer, that transcodes any video you throw at it and sends it to your iPad and then, if you've got a Boxee Box, it'll be able to send whatever you're playing over to it.

"It will have your queue, so anything you've queued up to watch - you'll be able to watch on the iPad. Anything that's shared from your friends too. And you'll be able to play your local content.

"We really wanted to create something that was able to stand on it's own, and also be complementary to other Boxee devices. So whether you've got a Boxee Box or you've never used Boxee, you'll find something to love about the app."

We were keen to find out if the delay had anything to do with Apple standing in the app's way. Is Cupertino Computers really about to welcome a third party app that does away with AirPlay and streams media content using alternative methods?

"I would think so because Apple is selling iPads," answered the Boxee VP.

"It's actually pretty similar as to what happened with Apple TV back in the day when Boxee was able to run on them. I think they saw a big spike in sales just because of that.

"It just makes their hardware all the more valuable."

So no date for the iPad Boxee features just yet, but it sounds as if it's getting close. We'll be waiting with open arms.

In the meantime, check out our Boxee Box review. It's a Pocket-lint "Hot Product" don't you know?



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