[iOS App] Bomb Cyclone, a Giant Bomb video app for iPhone, is now available!

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conmulligan

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#1  Edited By conmulligan  Online

Hey bombers, you might remember I posted about a month ago looking for beta testers. A bunch of people participated, which resulted in some great feedback and helped surface a number of nasty issues that would’ve otherwise slipped by. The app is now pretty much stable and contains most of the easy to implement suggestions, so I’ve made it available on the App Store. If you’d like to check it out, just follow this link!

There’s some bad news, though: Apple has nixed the download functionality for copyright reasons. I’ve already exhausted my options with the Review Board, so absent some kind of documentation from GB explicitly granting the app permission to download video it’ll have to remain disabled for now. In its place, I’ve added the ability to “favourite” videos, so you can build a kind of local playlist.

Update 22/09/2019: Downloads are back in version 1.1!

What does it look like?

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5

What does it do?

I’m glad you asked! Here’s what’s already implemented:

  • Browse videos by category or show.
  • Watch archived video and live streams.
  • Cast videos using Google Cast.
  • Push notifications for new videos, live streams and show episodes.
  • Video search.
  • Download videos for offline viewing.

And here’s what’s coming soon:

  • Mini player.
  • iPad Support.
  • Home screen top slot.
  • Upcoming videos.
  • Mark as watched.

I’d also like to add Apple TV support, but that's more of a longer term proposition.

I already use Video Buddy/GBTV/Burger, why would I switch to Bomb Cyclone?

Those apps are great and if you like one of them you should absolutely keep using it. With Bomb Cyclone, I wanted to do something a little different with the UI and implement some functionality, like reliable push notifications, that isn’t otherwise widely available. If any of that sounds appealing, you should give it a try!

Why doesn't it do (x)?

Probably because I haven't though of it! If you have suggestions that aren't already on the roadmap, please let me know.

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conmulligan

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#2 conmulligan  Online

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the beta and gave feedback. There’s still a bunch of stuff I want to add, but right now I'm concentrating on the mini player and iPad support which I'm hoping to have ready by the time iOS 13 drops.

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Eulisker

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Thanks for the app. I hope you have the opportunity to bring back downloads. Do you know why other apps are allowed to have downloads when yours doesn’t?

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conmulligan

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#4 conmulligan  Online
@eulisker said:

Thanks for the app. I hope you have the opportunity to bring back downloads. Do you know why other apps are allowed to have downloads when yours doesn’t?

I'm not sure. I didn't bring up the other apps to the review board in case they got pulled, but my guess is they just slipped by unnoticed. The App Store guidelines are sometimes capriciously applied so it's not uncommon for one app to be flagged while another sails through.

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espiox

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The Chromecast button isn’t showing up for me at all. I’m on the iOS 13 beta, but other apps (like Video Buddy) are working fine, so I’m not sure if that’s it.

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conmulligan

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#6  Edited By conmulligan  Online

@espiox said:

The Chromecast button isn’t showing up for me at all. I’m on the iOS 13 beta, but other apps (like Video Buddy) are working fine, so I’m not sure if that’s it.

Hmm, that's strange. I haven't done much testing with iOS 13 so I don't know for sure, but it's possible some of the privacy changes are affecting device discovery. Video Buddy is using a much older version of the Cast SDK so it may not be impacted in the same way.

If you have the Twitch app installed, can you see if the cast button shows up there? That should be using approximately the same SDK version as Bomb Cyclone.

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espiox

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@conmulligan: Yeah, looks like it’s not working in Twitch either.

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#8  Edited By lolakarim2300

@conmulligan said:
@eulisker said:

Thanks for the app. I hope you have the opportunity to bring back downloads. Do you know why other apps are allowed to have downloads when yours doesn’t? [URL=https://myip.kim/]my ip[/URL] [URL=https://birthdaywishes.onl/]birthday wishes[/URL] [url=https://elecpay.in/tneb/]tneb[/url]

I'm not sure. I didn't bring up the other apps to the review board in case they got pulled, but my guess is they just slipped by unnoticed. The App Store guidelines are sometimes capriciously applied so it's not uncommon for one app to be flagged while another sails through.

GB explicitly granting the app permission to download video it’ll have to remain disabled for now. In its place, I’ve added the ability to “favourite” videos, so you can build a kind of local playlist.

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espiox

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Chromecast is working again now in iOS 13 beta 4!

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Corasaur

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This looks great. Cant wait for ipad support.

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conmulligan

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#11 conmulligan  Online

Hey all, version 1.0.3 is now available. Here's what's changed:

  • Casting video now uses the selected quality level. Note: if you experience stuttering while casting, you might want to drop the quality level down a notch.
  • Increased the tab bar icon contrast.
  • Fixed some bugs and tweaked the UI.
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dallen33

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Just wanted to say that this is a great app only held back by not having downloads. Have you talked to anyone at Giant Bomb about getting permissions? I know it would be a pain in the ass dealing with that and the App Store review team, but it would be so worth it. Quite frankly, CBS Interactive should buy your app/source code and make it official. It's that good.

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conmulligan

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#13 conmulligan  Online

@dallen33: Thanks, I'm glad you like it! I've been in touch with Will who sent me on some documentation, so I'm hoping to submit an update that re-enables downloads in time for the iOS 13 launch. That should hopefully happen in the 2-3 weeks.

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Anthenagin

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Great app! Can I suggest having videos automatically going full screen when putting the phone in landscape mode?

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mcmax3000

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Those screenshots look really good. I'll definitely check the app out when it has iPad support.

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reflex

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Hey is this still in development? iPad still coming?

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conmulligan

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#17 conmulligan  Online

@reflex said:

Hey is this still in development? iPad still coming?

Definitely still in development! There should be an iOS 13 update rolling out shortly in fact. I'm still working on iPad support, but it's getting there. Right now it looks like I should be done by early November.

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conmulligan

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#18 conmulligan  Online

Good news! Version 1.1 is now available and downloads are back! Huge thanks for @wcarle for his help with this.

Also in 1.1:

  • The app’s been updated for iOS 13.
  • Notifications now include images and will open the associated video when selected.
  • Improved Google Cast integration.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.
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#19 conmulligan  Online

Hey all, 1.1.1 is now available. This version resolves a bunch of issues, especially when it comes to downloading videos, so if you've been having trouble hopefully this fixes things for you!

  • Updated the registration UI to better match the rest of the app.
  • Reduced disk usage by periodically cleaning up temporary and unused files.
  • Updated toast appearance.
  • Resolved a visual glitch when presenting the Google Cast device chooser on iOS 13.
  • Fixed an issue where selecting a video while already casting wouldn’t play the new video.
  • Improved stability on iOS 12.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.
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reflex

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Hey just a heads up I can’t seem to watch any of the “random PC game” shows since the app can’t display HD, High, or Low For them.

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#21 conmulligan  Online

@reflex: Thanks for the heads up! There seems to be an issue with the API where some search results are missing the video URL fields. I've filed a bug report and I'll try to include a workaround in the next update, but in the meantime if you can navigate to the videos without using the search bar you should be able to play them in the app.

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@conmulligan: Any ETA on an iPad version? any possibility of an AppleTV version too? Pretty please? :D

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#23  Edited By seram

Experiencing a few bugs in regards to chrome casting. When I chromecast a video, if I lock my phone and then open my phone again, the video will always start over from the beginning automatically. I also can’t skim the video during chromecast successfully. If I minimize the video on my phone, it disappears below the bottom of my screen with no way to pull it up again.

Edit: I’m on iOS 13.1.3

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@seram: Seeing those exact same bugs (iPhone 11 on iOS 13.1.3). Having the video constantly start over (and being unable to skip back to where I was) is a deal breaker for me. Looking forward to updates!

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#25 conmulligan  Online

@theadmin: The iPad version should be ready soon! I'm hoping to have a beta up on TestFlight by the end of the month with an eye to releasing it a week or two later. Apple TV is a trickier proposition. It's definitely something I'd like to do, but many of Bomb Cyclone's core features — like push notifications, downloads and Chromecast support — wouldn't make sense on an Apple TV and Giant Bomb's official Apple TV app already does a good job covering the rest. I'll look into it a bit more once I have the iPad version out the door, though.

@pythagosaurus, @seram: Thanks for the info! I'll go though each point one by one:

When I chromecast a video, if I lock my phone and then open my phone again, the video will always start over from the beginning automatically.

I think I know the issue here and should have a fix ready by the time the iPad version goes up.

I also can’t skim the video during chromecast successfully.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to reproduce this. Can you describe the scrubber behaviour in more detail? Does it not respond to dragging at all or is it bouncing around after you lift your finger? Also, if you could let me know what Chromecast devices you're using that may help narrow it down!

If I minimize the video on my phone, it disappears below the bottom of my screen with no way to pull it up again.

This is a limitation of how the app is currently designed, but I'm planning to introduce a mini player that will allow you to dismiss and restore the video screen without losing the video session. This won't make it in for the iPad release, but should hopefully be in the following update.

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#26  Edited By seram

@conmulligan: In regards to the video scrubbing issue, I haven’t been able to reproduce it either since posting that and it only happened once, so not sure, it may have just been a funky issue with Chromecast itself in the moment. I’ll post again if it ever happens again. But basically I scrubbed on my phone but the chromecast video on the TV kept playing without reflecting my scrubbing. But so far so good on that front now.

And in regards to my chromecast model, it’s a Chromecast Ultra.

Thanks and looking forward to the updates! Definitely enjoying the app.

Edit: Forgot to also mention if I pick a video that is under “Continue Watching” and I’m connected to chromecast, the video will start from the beginning and not from where it left off.

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I’m having an issue with the app remembering my progress on downloaded videos. Right now, it starts them from the beginning whenever I go back to them. Is this a known thing, or maybe something I’m doing wrong?

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#28 conmulligan  Online

Hey folks, the iPad beta is now live! If you'd like to participate, you can opt-in here. It’s very much a beta build, so expect bugs and some occasionally funky UI behaviour. If you do come across anything that looks like it needs attention, even if it’s very minor, let me know and I’ll hopefully sort it before release.

This version also includes some changes for iPhone, so if you don’t have an iPad but still want to kick the tires you’re more than welcome to join the beta.

Here’s the full changelog:

  • Updated UI to support iPad.
  • Added support for iPad multitasking with Split View, Slide Over and Picture in Picture.
  • Landscape orientation is now supported on iPhone.
  • The show screen now includes grid mode and ordering.
  • The search results screen now includes grid mode.
  • Improved animations.
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#29 conmulligan  Online
@sodon said:

I’m having an issue with the app remembering my progress on downloaded videos. Right now, it starts them from the beginning whenever I go back to them. Is this a known thing, or maybe something I’m doing wrong?

Thanks for the heads up, I'll check this out. When you're watching downloaded videos do you normally do so without an active internet connection?

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Zero_

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As of maybe a day or two ago, I can't seem to play any videos (premium or not) from the app. I've tried delinking my account and it's still not working. Any ideas?

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#31  Edited By conmulligan  Online

@zero_ said:

As of maybe a day or two ago, I can't seem to play any videos (premium or not) from the app. I've tried delinking my account and it's still not working. Any ideas?

It sounds like this might be the same issue other users have reported here. Are you seeing similar behaviour in any other apps?

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@conmulligan said:

@reflex: Thanks for the heads up! There seems to be an issue with the API where some search results are missing the video URL fields. I've filed a bug report and I'll try to include a workaround in the next update, but in the meantime if you can navigate to the videos without using the search bar you should be able to play them in the app.

Just wanted to say I’m loving the iPad app, just hope there is a work around or a possible fix for this since ive come across a few videos which leads to dead ends.

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#33 conmulligan  Online

@reflex: I haven't heard anything back on the bug report but I'd try to include a workaround in the next build.

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@conmulligan: Normally online, but I do occasional offline viewing as well. I'm mostly using the downloaded videos to ensure I can watch them when I have low bandwidth, and as a way of having a "to watch" playlist.