Our All 4 app review for iPhone/iPad/Android shows why lovers of telly-on-the-go should rejoice, provided they have a network connection and don’t mind bloody annoying ad breaks…
4OD is no more, replaced this month with the spangly new All 4 app, but truth be told the service remains much the same. You can still watch lots of great Channel 4 content on your humble iPhone or iPad (and there’s also an Android version for phones and tablets, which is much the same), from dramas and comedy shows to the usual reality junk (hey there, One Born Every Minute).
All 4’s Catch Up section is great if you missed your favourite show, as you can scroll back through a full month’s worth of telly and watch whatever you like. The interface is as user-friendly as you’d hope, with searches based on date shown as well as show type, so it’s pretty easy to find what you want.
You can also browse Channel 4’s extensive back catalogue, which contains plenty of classic shows like Nathan Barley, The Good Wife, Shameless and Adam & Joe to binge watch. In fact, with dozens of Come Dine With Me seasons to marathon, your weekends for the foreseeable future are well and truly sorted.
Like the Beeb’s iPlayer app, it’s also possible to download some shows to watch later, even if you’re offline. None of the back catalogue is sadly available to save to your phone, but you can download a large chunk of the Catch Up TV selection. Programs commissioned by 4 are generally fair game, but the likes of The Big Bang Theory, The 100 and so on are off limits and can only be streamed, even if they were shown in the past few days.
Unfortunately you only get one day to watch your downloaded shows, which isn’t great news if you’re heading abroad for a few days and hoped to take a collection of stuff to keep you entertained.
Also unfortunately, you’ll have to endure extremely long ad breaks before and during each show. It can’t be helped, as that’s how Channel 4 earns the money needed to survive, but a pause in the action every 15 minutes for four full minutes of ads is a real ballache, especially when you’re used to uninterrupted services like iPlayer, Netflix etc.
And as of yet, there’s no support for Chromecast, so this really is a service designed for on-the-go use (provided you’ve got a network connection or regularly get in the habit of downloading the morning you want to watch stuff).