Plex, the popular service that organizes all of your media for easy streaming, is releasing a refreshed iOS app today. Acknowledging that its users have grown a bit frustrated with the previous version, Plex says the new app is rebuilt from scratch as a new showcase for everything that its software can do. Whereas it previously seemed like the team was more focused on Android, Plex now says iOS is the "poster child for new feature support."
The revamped app finally takes advantage of Plex Home, which lets you share a library of movies, music, and photos between multiple users. It offers better support for Plex's premium music features — if building your own streaming music solution seems more appealing than paying Apple or Spotify. And Plex for iOS also now works over secure, encrypted connections to your home media server.
Another big change is that Plex's iOS app is now going free, whereas the old version required a $4.99 purchase. Almost anyone using Plex will still want to unlock its full functionality through an in-app purchase; by default, the free app only lets you use it as a remote control for whatever's currently streaming or send photos and videos from your iPhone's camera roll to the TV. If you've already paid for Plex, you'll keep access to its full set of features.
Plex also promises massive improvements when syncing movies from your home server over to your iPhone or iPad. Speeds are said to be vastly improved, especially for users who sync a ton of content, and Plex says its advanced filtering, sorting, and discovery options now work perfectly with synced media. The new app represents a big jump for Plex's iOS presence, but it's not without some known issues the company hopes to work out in future updates. With most consumers relying on Netflix, Spotify, and others for their entertainment needs, Plex remains a niche product — but it's evolved into a pretty fantastic one.