The inconsistency of video apps and controls within streaming apps is frustrating. John Siracusa wrote An Unsolicited Streaming App Spec that details everything. I find it most frustrating to use it with iPadOs and the Magic Keyboard.
Many nights I watch a television show on my iPad instead of on the TV in the bedroom because my wife has gone to sleep, and I don’t want to light the entire room up. I set it on my bedside table and put on a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro II, and I can now watch and not disturb her.
The sound levels vary between each app, even at a baseline. So, MAX might be at 32%, but Paramount+ might need to be 54% (this excludes the type of show it is). So I have to adjust for each channel and usually higher.1
I don’t like using the volume hardware buttons on the iPad if I don’t have to. What makes me the most crazy is how each app uses the arrow keys and space bar.
I think Arrow Up/Down should be volume up and down. Arrow Left/Right should be used for skipping ahead or back.2the space bar should always be pause or resume.
Here is the behavior of some of the more common apps.
|Streaming||Skip ←/→||Volume ↑/↓||Play/Pause ␣|
Every company wants its Bespoke video streaming app, but some core consistency within the video space would add to a better user experience. You don’t want users frustrated with simple tasks like Play/Pause or Volume Up and Down. You do that fine on your own, trying to get people to subscribe and remain a customer.