As some of you will know, Onion News Network is a fictive newscast that documents global currents events in a highly cynical, tongue-in-cheek fashion. Rather than searching for each video individually on YouTube, there’s now the option of simply downloading the official Onion New Network app. But is it worth it? Find out in today’s test review!
|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
A word of warning for all our international readers: this app will be of no use to you unless your English is pretty decent (which, admittedly, it must be if you’re consulting this website ), because the Onion News Network’s (or ONN) videos are all in English.
As hinted in the teaser, ONN’s strategy is simple: take news from all over the world, add a big dose of cynicism, exaggeration, and absurdity and present the whole thing as realistic news broadcasts. The fact that the viewer is interested in the kinds of topics the ONN discusses is a prerequisite, of course, but that being said, there is such a big spectrum of ONN videos to choose from that everyone should find something that tickles their fancy.
After you start up the app for the first time a quick update will be downloaded and the HTC sponsoring becomes visible for the first time. But not to worry—the app isn’t an HTC exclusive. After the update has been downloaded you’ll get to the main menu which consists of a list of the available videos. The list is split into the following categories:
• ShowsEditor's Picks
• HTC: this categorie features publicity videos for the HTC Aria.
Once you’ve selected a video it will be played in the app itself after a brief buffering period. The quality can’t be adjusted, but even on the Milestone’s display the videos look alright. However, it would be nice if there was an option for watching videos in HD (or higher quality in general), as once could definitely make use of it, especially if you’ve got access to Wlan networks.
If you press on the display during playback a time bar, play/pause, and back/forwards buttons are displayed. You can recommend videos to your friends (via Facebook or email) via the Share and More option. Pressing on Browse Clips will display a horizontal scrollbar which shows videos from the same category. Not only is this super useful but it looks pretty darn good, too!
The Refresh button can be found in the app’s main menu in the upper left corner. You can access further options via your Android’s menu button:
• Popular (videos)
I’d like to make a recommendation: the "Tech Trends" show is worth checking out for anyone who’s into technologies – especially Google and Apple related. I think you’ll especially enjoy "New Google Phone Service Whispers Targeted Ads Directly into Users' Ears”.
So what’s missing? An option that lets you choose a higher resolution, as well as making it possible to rate and comment (on) videos. At the end of the day, this app is little more than a collection of videos that are also available on YouTube. That being said, it is quite a bit easier watching the videos on the official ONN app, so if you’re an ONN fan you probably won’t want to give this one a miss.
Screen & Controls
Clear, concise, and easy to use. The Browse Clip option looks really cool.
Speed & Stability
The app, scrolling through lists, and even the Browse Clip function all run really smoothly and very fast. Nothing to complain about from my end!
The app can be downloaded free of cost, but there is HTC publicity that runs along the lower part of the screen, as well as a separate HTC category. I don’t mind the ads so much, but I find the HTC Aria video category a bit weird.