Forget all those people streaming their movies from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. You like to have a proper collection of video files. You want to own them and watch them wherever you want. RockPlayer, the all-purpose media player app for Android, has been a crowd favorite for just this purpose for a while, even if it's been lacking a bit of luster. Well, today that changes with a huge update to the interface that makes it both prettier and far more functional.

Have a look at the before and after:

rockplayerold1 rockplayerold2 rockplayerold3


As you can see, the old version is all Gingerbread-y and has a god awful, ugly interface for exploring videos with no indication of what you're about to play besides the name. Also, What's up with that fancy 'R' in the player window? Is that how you get to playback controls? That's silly. You know what would be better? This:

rocknew1 rocknew2 rocknew3

rocknew4 rocknew5


Ah, that's much better. Sure, the new design favors skeuomorphic techniques a bit, but who cares? This looks great! We have video thumbnails! Proper video scrubbing! Gesture support! The entire UI has been changed from the ground up and it looks a million times better. As always, the player comes with support for a bunch of video and audio formats as well.

The gesture controls are particularly interesting. While cool, you might also need a chart to remember them all. Here's the list:

Gesture control
* Pause playback - two fingers, tap
* Volume - one finger, tap right side or swipe in from right outer side
* Brightness - one finger, tap left side or swipe in from left outer side
* Fast forward - one finger, swipe left or right
* Stop playback - two fingers, pinch
* Show/Hide control bar - one finger, tap
* Show/Hide control buttons - one finger, swipe up/down

Get all that? Good. In addition to this, the app also supports network streaming via UPnP, HTTP, HLS, RTSP and more, as well as HDMI mirroring. Good just got better. Check it out via the widget below or, if you're already using the app, just hit the Play Store.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • sam

    I do appreciate their work but honestly both versions do not look nice. Both do not implement the new holo theme of android.

    • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

      I agree. Skeuomorphism is an iOS thing.
      Personally I prefer DICE player. It does not look great too, but better than this.

  • Faiz Visram

    I prefer the look of MX Player. It's a more modern look instead of the skeuomorphism.

  • http://twitter.com/Putzy Lewis P

    Preferred it before if I'm honest... at least it didn't look like a iOS ripoff.

  • http://www.techthirst.com/ Anuj Ahooja

    The skeuomorphism is making my eyes bleed. I can deal with the notepad, but the film strips and TV gallery are wasting way too much space. Phones have a limited screen real-estate and wasting it on horrendous, gigantic borders is poor design.

  • Adam

    Don't reward apps that flagrantly ignore UI guidelines.

  • Dacritz Madker

    Still awful.

  • Nick Coad

    Wow they've made the app look even more awful than it already did.

  • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

    What makes this better from MX?