“Ideas worth spreading”—have you heard this slogan? It’s the motto of the conference organisation that has made it its mission to disseminate knowledge since the mid 1980s.
We were very curious to try the official TED application. Let’s find out how the app fared in our review after the jump.
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Features & Use
TED is an acronym for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” and originated as a one off conference turned annual conference in California. It has since become one of the most popular conference platforms, sprouting international spin-offs worldwide (TEDx). The core remains the annual California-held conference during which renowned speakers share their ideas and experiences.
The clips provided within the TED app are snippets of talks held at the annual conference and spin-off events. So in a way the TED app is a portal to the same (free) information that was only available on the TED website up until now.
There are over 1200 videos and audio recordings on the TED application. A great option for a longer train journey, for instance: download some of the clips and/or audio recordings, this way you won’t use up any of your flatrate whilst watching.
The app’s UI is neat and well organised. Some events are highlighted, making them easy to spot. “My Talks” can be used to view clips offline.
There are options for sharing talks via social networks, bookmarking them or adding them to My Talks—and that’s about all there is to say about the app’s features!
IMO, the app is missing two key functions: the option to log oneself in and an option to comment on talks. Furthermore, on iOS there is an “Inspiration” option; the user can select a topic and length of a talk and allow the app to suggest talks that they may find interesting.
Another issue I have with this app is the video mode, which is never full screen, but rather bordered by a relatively thick and useless frame. The videos may be in HD, but due to the small size this doesn’t even really come across on the One X.
On the bright side, the TED Talks audio clips are brilliant, even though it isn’t possible to set up a playlist.
TED Talks themselves are truly wonderful and a great and democratic way of spreading knowledge and ideas. The app, however, doesn’t manage to transport all of the great stuff that’s packed on the website to the Android platform. There’s still a ways to go before we can give the app a five star score that would reflect what TED itself deserves as a rating…
Screen & Controls
TED deserves top marks when it comes to the app’s graphics. The app looks great, sticks to the Google design guidelines and is easy to use.
A few details – such as pinch to zoom – are missing, but we won’ split hairs.
Speed & Stability
TED performed very well indeed, and that throughout our entire test phase.
TED is available for free from Google Play, and we would have awarded it five stars in this category also, but those features we discussed previously are missing…