TED app features a very intuitive user interface and is designed to adapt to all types of Android devices. On opening the app you are presented with a right to left sliding menu consisting of three tabs:
• ‘Featured’ - to find new and popular videos
• ‘All Talks’- videos organized by ‘Tags’ (e.g. astronomy, cities, evolution), ‘Themes’ (e.g. Art unusual, How We Learn), ‘Ratings’ (e.g. beautiful, informative) and ‘Languages’ (offering subtitles in more than 70 languages)
• ‘My Talks’ – easily view your Downloads and Bookmarks
On the top right of the screen you have the search bar, the audio podcast and the settings tab. We preferred browsing the TED library – by theme, tags, popularity- and after choosing a video we found a short presentation on the subject of the talk and the speaker, suggested videos to watch next and related talks organized by themes and tags. Under the ‘Education’ tag we played an interesting video where ‘mathemagician’ Arthur Benjamin solves difficult mental equations. If you have the time you will find yourself fully immersed in the app. The video quality is very good, sharp and we didn’t have any problems with streaming over a Wi-Fi or a 3G connection.
You can choose to listen to TED Radio Hour or, if you prefer, the live audio recordings of TEDTalks. It is perfect for listening in the car, on the airplane, on your way commuting to or back from school or when you jog or run.
The most important feature of TED app is that it allows you to download videos and audio recordings (where available) for offline viewing and listening. They can easily be accessed under the ‘My Talks’ tab. If you don’t have enough space to download the videos (offered in high or low quality) you can bookmark the ones that interest you easily return to them when connected to Internet. Users have to be aware that a download will continue in the background after you left the TED application.
To enable subtitles while watching a video look for the subtitle icon on the bottom left of the video player. You can also choose all the videos available in your language under the ‘Languages’ sub-tab in ‘All Talks’. We tested subtitles in French, Spanish, Italian and German and found them very reliable. Translations are done on a voluntary basis by a collaborative community of translators and reviewed before they are added to the app. A useful tip is to download a talk after activating a subtitle in which case the subtitle will be available for offline viewing. . And when you get to see a video you think everyone should know about the easy sharing features (Dropbox, Mail, Facebook, Message) will be much appreciated.
We would have liked access to information regarding upcoming TED conferences but we guess we can’t have it all. Students will find overwhelming the number of issues covered but the app will allow them to create their own library around topics they like and their particular interests. There are many teachers who use TEDTalks to inspire students and we believe the app will facilitate the exploration of more talks outside the classroom.
TED official app is an inspiring resource for students, teachers and parents and will make watching TEDTalks so much easier with the sleek interface, the download features and the support for so many languages. We can’t fault it: a 5 star EAS Certification and the EAS Recommended status.