VLC for iOS review: If you have content, it's the best for video playback

On your smartphone, while watching a video, you can swipe up or down on the left side of the screen to adjust brightness. Doing a vertical swipe on the right side of the screen adjusts volume. If you swipe left or right, you can advance or rewind the video. These touch controls mean you don't have to fiddle around with settings, and you never have to stop watching your video.

You can also adjust picture quality. From the video screen on your smartphone, you touch a button in the lower right to bring up a group of sliders where you can adjust brightness, contrast, hue, saturation or gamma, all while a video is playing.

No way to explore

I think the only real drawback to VLC is the lack of exploration features. To be fair, the app does exactly what it promises: It plays videos from multiple formats with intuitive controls, and it does it well. But without a way to explore videos, it means you'll need to get those videos on your own, which can be a multistep process for finding legal content, downloading it, then uploading it to one of the aforementioned cloud services.

What it boils down to is you can upload your personal videos (all legally obtained, of course), but it will take some time to build a library. In other words, it's up to you to find the content you can use with VLC for iOS.

Conclusion

VLC is an excellent video player on any platform, with controls you won't find in other apps from the genre. The redesign in the latest version looks great, keeping almost all the controls in one easy-to-browse menu with tons of options for uploading content.

Gesture-based controls on mobile during video playback are easy to use and work seamlessly without the need to leave your video. The ability to tweak the picture quality in real time is extremely convenient whether you're using iOS, Android, Windows or Mac.

For all the great things about VLC, you still have to find the content in order to use it. Still, with a little Internet savvy, this app is great for video playback with controls you'll wish every video player had.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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