TrueMove H has released two new iOS apps: H TV and H Music. The hope is clearly that the apps will match our modern always-on-the-move lifestyle. But are they really worth the download?
True Corp already has its own TV service called TrueVisions and a mobile network operation called TrueMove H, so combining them has long seemed inevitable as we always travel between the workplace and home despite our wish to stay indoors and just watch TV. Hence H TV, a TV online service for iOS devices.
How it works is simple. It is just True-Visions content streamed to an online server. The user, who must be a TrueMove H subscriber, signs up for a True ID, and watches the content via the H TV app.
Let's begin with the pros. I like the idea of watching TV online because I spend almost three hours every day on the road and, best of all, it solves one of life's dilemmas: who gets the remote control. Now, you will never miss a beat on K-pop (KMTV) or a TrueSport football match while your children will still have a blast with the Cartoon Network.
Well, maybe not. From my test version provided by True, a wide variety of channels were available. But now that I have the real thing, I get the six Thai TV free channels, plus AF and Panda Channel, plus a smattering of other cable channels, most of which I had never heard of before. It appears that only True Visions subscribers will get the full package.
There are other cons as well. True Vision's H TV, the full version, has fewer choices than True Visions, missing great channels like HBO, AXN and Series. Promising "more content in the future" doesn't cut it with me. I believe it should have channels on launch. Moreover, it is still an iPhone app which means it looks crippled on an iPad. Even with "2x mode" on the iPad, it is difficult to navigate through the menu. (A full-screen iPad app will make it more attractive.)
There is one thing you should know up front: H TV is free of charge for one year (after one year it's 399 baht per month), but with a hidden cost. It uses an internet connection to stream content, therefore I suggest an unlimited internet package which will cost around 699 baht per month. Then if you want more channels, signing up to TrueVisions is required. Do the maths.
The verdict: Go to the App Store and give it a try if you live a fast-paced life and match one of these criteria: You have TrueVisions at home, travel all the time, and use or will use TrueMove H. Anything more? It's free for one year!
Let's move to the H Music, an application that lets you download, listen to and share music for free. Is this download tempting? Surprisingly, I wasn't that impressed. By that I mean, sure it can do a lot of things, but you have to figure out how to use it first and that is difficult since it has a confusing menu, lacks a search function and has no support for multi-tasking. (If you turn off the screen or press a home button, it will stop playing music).
In the app's defence, I did manage to watch a music video and download songs as they advertised, but that was only after 15 to 20 minutes of just learning how to use it. In my opinion, it has a good content, eg, Lady Gaga and Madonna, but if anyone is going to use it, I think the user interface needs to be dramatically simplified.
Both applications need a TrueMove H sim card. If you disable 3G before using H Music, however, some of the functions will be disabled. That's unlike H TV where, once you finish the registration process, you can access it on wi-fi, reducing the cost of the 3G data rate.
The verdict: This app has good content but it's hiding behind an obscure user interface. If they can simplify it, its definitely tempting. Even if they don't, it's a free app, so if you want to, give it a try. Go ahead, why not?
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