Current Plex users are probably aware of the lack of a native application in BlackBerry World and how all we have is the APK of the Android version. However, that didn't prevent one independent developer from taking the time to carefully craft a version for BlackBerry 10. As the individual behind the popular application Smartwatch Companion and Cast made the commitment to bring you the first native Plex client, though you must have a Plex media server installed.
Upon launching for the first time, MediaX's startup page guides you through the setup process. This includes having you login using your myPlex username and password, to allow access to any servers registered on the account, or manually entering the IP address, though this limits functionality (i.e. Queue capability).
Once all of these steps are complete, you will be able to browse through your library on the media server. In my case, this means TV Shows and Movies. Being able to navigate through the different folders is quite easy and, as with Plex on your computer, you are able to go through each section or season, view the details of the media, and tap on the thumbnail to play accordingly.
- Miracast ready for playing your media direct to your home TV
- Integrated with system "now playing" service, allowing fully media information and control of you music by hardware buttons
- Active Frame Summary of 'now playing' information
- Integration with System Extended search – find any of your media on your Plex Server all from one place – the right place – the BlackBerry 10 home page Universal Search
- BlackBerry 10 Hub integration
- Share with your friends Socially as you experience your favorite media via BBM, Twitter and Facebook
- Customizable Led notifications
- Fully BBM integrated app - make your friends aware of your favorite media - share via BBM
- Additionally you can keep your friends up to date on Facebook, and Twitter
- Integration with a Pebble Smartwatch – control playing media conveniently from your wrist (requires 3rd party app Talk2Watch free or Pro), and receive optional notifications sent to the smartwatch about currently playing media
- Upfront active frame integration (requires free 3rd party app Upfront)
- Add videos from webpage to your plex.tv queue for later viewing from the convenience of the BlackBerry 10 share framework. Just share any webpage that contains a video to MediaX
In terms of the interface, the developer states it utilizes a cascades interface with the standard controls. This roughly translates into that it is pretty basic with a black background, the refresh and queue options at the bottom, and the thumbnails of your media library in the center. For me, I am more concerned with the functionality and being able to view media without jumping through multiple menus to accomplish this.
As I mentioned earlier, once you are logged in you have instant access to your media and browsing through the library is effortless. Playing media is also a breeze as it is quick and streams well. A note for users though, and I learned this the hard way, only supported BlackBerry 10 formats will play in the WebView which offers simple play/pause control and a slider.
As a Plex user, being able to watch my movies and TV shows from my device is an absolute must. This native version grants users accessibility to all of the Plex features and is integrated with the BlackBerry 10 operating system. For $2.99 you can take advantage of all the capabilities shown above, not to mention the added benefit of having Miracast and Pebble smartwatch support. I think the reward for that price is pretty reasonable for obtaining a native Plex client.