Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.
The new version has followed the Android Design Guidelines very closely and it shows. While most of us here at Android Police are of the opinion that Holo alone does not make a good UI, the addition is most welcome, given the way the old version looks.
The new version has much of what you would expect from a media center app. The library includes cover art, movie descriptions, and a truckload of other metadata. Social integration is great. Not only can you share videos or music to places like Facebook, but Plex users can also share content directly with each other. If you're listening to a song, you can tap a couple of buttons and your friend will see a recommendation appear in their notification shade.
The blog post also mentions a surprise feature in the video embedded above. Well, spoilers: Plex is now a media server, too. If you have a movie, for example, on your tablet, you can stream it directly to your phone. While it's not immediately obvious if this would be an every-day use case, it is a nice option for media aficionados.
The new app will come out later this week. Initially it will only be available to PlexPass subscribers. The app will only work on Android 3.2 and up. Unfortunately, this will leave Gingerbread users out in the cold, but as we know, they're a shrinking majority. Oh, and why 3.2? Because of Google TV. Arguably one of the most important platforms that an app like Plex can support, so it's good they're not abandoning it.