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

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conmulligan

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@dvydra, @theadmin: A few people have brought up watch lists so it's definitely on my radar! I still need to figure out where it would go in the UI and the exact functionality it would involve, but hopefully it's something I can implement pretty quickly once the mini player is done.

Out of interest, would you want the ability the create more than one watch list? Also, should it behave like the site watch list where you add shows, or like YouTube playlists where you add individual videos?

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dvydra

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I think for me a single “watch later” list would be enough. I’d just add individual videos to watch to the list.

Thanks for the great app

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Brettuss

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Hey! Fantastic app!

A couple of questions? Are you pulling the show list from somewhere? Just curious if it is GB themselves that is excluding Flight Club from the list.

Also, I would pay you money to be able to sort my search results by date.

Thanks for all the work! Let me know how I can throw a tip your way.

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conmulligan

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@brettuss: Thanks, I'm glad you dig it!

It looks like Flight Club isn't listed as a show at all which is why it doesn't appear as one in the app. I don't know how easy it is to go back and create shows after the fact, but this might be something @rorie can help with.

I'll definitely look into adding search sort options; this is already in place for regular video results, so it wouldn't be too difficult to expand it to search results.

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conmulligan

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#55  Edited By conmulligan

Hey folks,

There’s a new TestFlight beta available. If you haven't opted-in already, you can do so here. This update introduces the mini player and includes some significant under the hood changes, including playback logic that’s been rewritten from scratch to resolve several longstanding issues.

Here are some of the things the new playback logic is designed to address:

  • Video position not being synced while online.
  • Unable to scrub video while casting.
  • Cast videos restarting from scratch when the app enters the foreground.
  • PiP playback stops when the video sheet is dismissed.

If you encounter any issues with the beta, please let me know! There are a couple of things I’m already aware of, but these should hopefully be resolved in the next build:

  • Now Playing info does not appear in Control Center.
  • The mini player UI is not finalised, particularly on iPad, so you may notice some odd layout behaviour or buggy animations.
  • Audio playback may be interrupted when the app is suspended.

I'm particularly interested to hear from people who've had issues casting, because there are so many variables involved that it's hard for me to test comprehensively.

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conmulligan

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Version 1.3 is now live! Thanks to everyone who submitted feedback and crash reports.

Here's the full changelog:

  • Added the Mini Player.
  • You can now mark a video as played.
  • Fixed an issue that would prevent video progress from syncing.
  • Resolved an issue where video playback would reset while casting.
  • Improved Control Center Now Playing support.
  • Addressed an issue where popovers were misaligned.
  • Fixed a layout issue when browsing videos in grid mode.
  • Improved the legibility of vibrant playback controls.
  • Updated the video management UI.
  • Addressed an issue where parts of the UI would be obscured in landscape mode.
  • Resolved a data caching issue.
  • Fixed an issue where casting would fail if the video had previously been played to completion.
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reflex

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Just wanted to say thank you again for all the hard work you’ve put into the app and I really appreciate it.

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conmulligan

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@reflex: Cheers! I'm just happy to see people using it, honestly.

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Bobbywich

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I'm not seeing the Continue Watching header after updating to the latest version.

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conmulligan

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@bobbywich: Have you watched any recent videos? There's a bug in the app where the Continue Watching section doesn't appear if you don't have any progress saved in the most recent 50 videos, but you can work around this by watching any recent video and then launching the app from scratch. If that doesn't work, let me know and I'll dig a bit deeper!

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Bobbywich

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Anthenagin

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Noticed that downloaded videos aren’t showing up in the download tab.

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conmulligan

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@anthenagin: Hmm, strange. Has this only started since the latest update? I can't seem to reproduce the issue, but maybe try force quitting the app and seeing if the downloads tab repopulates when you relaunch it.

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Epiphyte

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@conmulligan: I am seeing the same thing on my iPad, tried to force close but no dice. The videos can still play offline, so they are downloaded, but not visible in the download section

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Anthenagin

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@conmulligan: I'm pretty sure since the last update, but can't say for sure since I don't download videos that often. I did try force closing the app with no luck. FWIW I also tried uninstalling, and re-installing the app.

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conmulligan

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Epiphyte

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@conmulligan: So oddly the latest breaking brad downloaded and shows up in the downloads tab, but the two recent def jam videos dont

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conmulligan

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#68  Edited By conmulligan

@epiphyte@anthenagin: Got it! There’s a bug in the app where videos don’t appear in the download list if they don’t belong to a show. This was exacerbated by an API issue where some videos, like the most recent Gaiden the Ring uploads, are missing the show association. Fortunately it’s an easy fix, so I have a beta build up on TestFlight now and I should have an update out in the next day or two.

Thanks for your help, you’re lifesavers; it would’ve taken me hours to narrow that down otherwise.

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dreadd

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Been using the TestFlight versions for a couple months and I gotta say what a great app you’ve made. Works so flawlessly using AirPlay to the AppleTV from my iPad I would just like to say thank you for all the hard work and your continued support.

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Anthenagin

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#70  Edited By Anthenagin

@conmulligan: glad it was an easy fix, thanks for all you do!

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razorblade79

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The app looks great! However I’m having trouble playing or downloading older videos. I need to continue my quest to watch all of the persona 4 endurance run. I already tried using the beta.

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conmulligan

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#73  Edited By conmulligan

@razorblade79: Hey, thanks for the heads up! It looks like some older videos, including most of the Persona 4 Endurance Run, are only available in "High" quality. The app should disable quality options that aren't available, but for some reason that seems to be busted. I'll try to roll out a fix with the next release, but in the meantime you should be able to watch and download those Endurance Run episodes by selecting the "High" quality option.

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razorblade79

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@conmulligan: oh I didn’t think of that ,thanks for the hint. I can’t now finally retire my 2013 nexus 7 :D

Thanks for your work!

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BrainScratch

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Thank you so much for all the work on the app, it's been my go-to way of watching Giant Bomb content for a long time.

Just a question: what happened to "Continue Watching" section? I use that feature a lot but right now I can't find it. Currently, the front page only has Latest Videos, Premium, Lockdown 2020, Giant Beastcast, Bombcast, and Quick Looks.

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conmulligan

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@brainscratch: Thanks, glad you like it!

Have you mostly been watching older videos? There's a bug in the current version of the app where the Continue Watching section doesn't appear if you don't have any progress saved in the most recent 50 videos. You can usually work around this by watching any recent video and then launching the app from scratch, but if that doesn't work let me know!

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BrainScratch

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@conmulligan: Yes I've been watching some older videos lately, since the recent videos are also on Youtube. Just tried the trick you mentioned and it worked fine, thank you!

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Necromanti

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#80  Edited By Necromanti

Am I missing something? I've tried downloading videos on both my iPhone and iPad on different networks (including 4G), and the progress never seems to budge. Though I guess it's related to the issue that most videos just buffer forever and never play. It's not a GB player issue, either, since the videos play on the GB site.

EDIT: Actually, one video started playing eventually, but downloads are still a bust. It takes forever to buffer, so I wonder if the speeds are being severely throttled for some reason.

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conmulligan

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@necromanti: Hey, thanks for the info! If you get a chance, could you try playing something on the website in progressive mode? If that also takes an unusually long time to buffer then the issue is likely with GB's CDN.

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conmulligan

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Like many of you I have more time than I know what to do with so I’ve been working on a fairly substantial update to Bomb Cyclone while locked down. It’s almost ready to roll out, but before I pull the trigger I’ve made a TestFlight build available to hopefully weed out any last minute issues.

Here are the major changes coming in version 1.4:

  • Added featured content to the home screen.
  • Added upcoming content to the home screen.
  • Added offline database.
  • Significantly improved UI performance.
  • Introduced the ability to manually clear the image cache.
  • Improved the home screen grouping algorithm.

IMPORTANT: This update makes significant changes to how Bomb Cyclone stores data offline. As a result, existing downloads and subscriptions will need to be migrated over the first time the updated app is launched. This migration is still being tested and as a result some data loss may occur, so if you're at all worried about losing data please wait for the App Store version!

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conmulligan

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#83  Edited By conmulligan

Version 1.4 is now available! Once again, thanks to everyone who kicked the tires while it was in TestFlight. Here’s what 1.4 brings about:

  • Added Featured videos section.
  • Added Upcoming section.
  • Video progress is now saved offline and synced when an internet connection is available.
  • Improved UI performance.
  • Introduced the ability to manually clear the offline database and image cache.
  • Resolved several layout issues when multitasking on iPad.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.

As mentioned before, this update makes significant changes to how data is stored offline and with that there's the potential for new issues to be introduced; I’m hoping that most of these were ironed out while in TestFlight, but if anyone has any trouble let me know and I’ll dig into it.

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TheAdmin

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@conmulligan: The app is so nice to use! I love it!

Please make my dreams come true by doing the following:

  • Add a playlist feature: a list of individual videos, freely order-able, that I can watch with auto-play optional.
  • Add support for Apple TV, and as a super bonus, Mac (I'd love to run it on my mac)
  • Allow me the ability to exclude videos that have podcasts associated (let me hide bombcast, beastcast, etc)

I saw you had wondered where to put the playlist feature. I'd recommend combining it with download, so users can add videos to their watch list and then optionally hit the download button to view in offline mode. Videos could get an indicator of which are downloaded and which aren't. You could even have a toggle to only display downloaded.

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conmulligan

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@theadmin: These are all great suggestions! The playlist is definitely a priority for the next major update; in fact, the whole rational behind the offline database in 1.4 was to make things like that easier to implement down the road.

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Smokey_Earhole

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#86  Edited By Smokey_Earhole

Great app, but even though I tried the workaround for getting the continue watching section back, nothing happens. I have updated to 1.4. Haaalp! :D

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conmulligan

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@smokey_earhole: Strange, that should've been resolved in 1.4. I'll try to recreate this later today but in the meantime you could try force quitting and re-launching the app.

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conmulligan

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@conmulligan said:

@smokey_earhole: Strange, that should've been resolved in 1.4. I'll try to recreate this later today but in the meantime you could try force quitting and re-launching the app.

Scratch that, it's actually a new issue that was introduced in version 1.4. I should have an update out in the next day or so that clears things up.

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joelwmusic

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Got an issue that started yesterday where I can’t download some of the videos. Don’t know if it had anything to do with my subscription lapsing. But I re-upped and now certain videos will download and certain videos won’t. Bombcast wouldn’t. Astroneer wouldn’t. Now Mass Alex won’t. However, we be trucking did and red dead is going now and the aftermath.

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joelwmusic

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@joelwmusic: update: had everything to do with that. Got on the free trial by accident and that doesn’t allow you to download. Got off of that and all is well

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Smokey_Earhole

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@conmulligan said:

@smokey_earhole: Strange, that should've been resolved in 1.4. I'll try to recreate this later today but in the meantime you could try force quitting and re-launching the app.

Scratch that, it's actually a new issue that was introduced in version 1.4. I should have an update out in the next day or so that clears things up.

Just updated the app and can confirm that the continue watching section is once again back in full swing. Thanks very much for the swift fix!

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conmulligan

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Hey folks, just pushed out a minor update that adds the transparent show artwork and addresses a handful of issues with version 1.4:

  • Updated for iOS 13.5.
  • Added transparent show artwork.
  • Unavailable video quality levels are now hidden.
  • The app will now switch to an available quality level when the previously selected quality level is unavailable.
  • Fixed an issue where redundant partial files aren’t automatically deleted.
  • Addressed an issue where playback would sometimes reset.
  • Resolved an issue where the home screen loading indicator would appear over content.
  • Minor UI tweaks.

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TerribleStapler

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#93  Edited By TerribleStapler

@conmulligan: Just a heads up. The new 1.4.2 update is crashing immediately after launching on both iPhones in my house.

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conmulligan

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@TerribleStapler said:

Just a heads up. The new 1.4.2 update is crashing immediately after launching on both iPhones in my house.

Yeah, I've gotten a few crash reports about this. Looks like I screwed up a database migration in the latest update. I should have a fix out within the next 24 hours, but in the meantime you can workaround the issue by deleting the app and reinstalling from the store. This’ll sign you out and you’ll lose any downloads/subscriptions though, so you might want to wait for the update if you don't want to go through the hassle of setting the app up from scratch.

Thanks for the heads up!

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conmulligan

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Version 1.4.3 is live now with a fix for that crash. Thanks to everyone who reported the issue!

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natiko

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Big Giant Bomb fan but I rarely use the forums. Just wanted to pop in to add in another request for a playlist/unwatched feature. Just upgraded phones for the first time in ages only to realize the app I used to track my unwatched videos is no longer available :( No existing iOS app seems to have that functionality now, but yours seems to be the most frequently updated so fingers crossed. For now I guess I’ll use my tablet that still has the old app to track them.

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Anidem

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Hey! as a fellow app developer I must say this one is really well done! I just wanted to ask something regarding video streaming/download speeds: is it something from GB's end? thanks and keep up the good work :)

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conmulligan

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@natiko said:

Big Giant Bomb fan but I rarely use the forums. Just wanted to pop in to add in another request for a playlist/unwatched feature. Just upgraded phones for the first time in ages only to realize the app I used to track my unwatched videos is no longer available :( No existing iOS app seems to have that functionality now, but yours seems to be the most frequently updated so fingers crossed. For now I guess I’ll use my tablet that still has the old app to track them.

Yeah, the watchlist is definitely what I'm asked about the most. I'm actively working on it now, so my hope is that it'll be available in the next major release which should land in the next couple of weeks.

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conmulligan

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#99  Edited By conmulligan

@anidem said:

Hey! as a fellow app developer I must say this one is really well done! I just wanted to ask something regarding video streaming/download speeds: is it something from GB's end? thanks and keep up the good work :)

Thanks! Yep, absent any network issues, the streaming/download speed is almost always determined by GB's CDN. You shouldn't notice an appreciable difference between streaming/downloading in the app versus watching on the site using "Progressive" mode, though, so if there is a discrepancy there I'd love to hear about it just in case there's an issue with the app.

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natiko

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@conmulligan: That’s great news! I have the app installed, I’m looking forward to it once you get it all working! The app looks great. That piece of it you nailed.