The New Funimation App
By James Lancy
Live Wire Senior Staff Writer
Within the last week, the anime licenser Funimation rolled out their new app calling it FunimationNow. Funimation has been known for the quality of shows it licenses for U.S. viewing, and their English dubbing skills. There was a previous version of the app, but it was prone to failure and it was never updated. If their track record remains true, the new app will have the same level of bugs incorporated with the older app, and indeed it has.
For starters, some new episodes are slow to sync with the app. When I looked for the newest release of Prince of Stride: Alternative, the newest simulcast along with the latest broadcast dub weren’t there yet. I had to go to the website to stream those episodes right away. That’s not necessarily true for all shows, but isn’t the point of a streaming app to stream the same videos on the website?
Secondly, some broadcast dubbed videos won’t play with the English audio. Several times, I’ve tried playing one of the latest broadcast dubs of Prince of Stride and it gave me the subbed version. Even when I chose English as the language, because I knew it was available, it chose to play the Japanese version with English subtitles.
These are merely a few bugs that have been found in the release of the new app, but not everything went horribly wrong with it. There are a few things the new app fixed that the old app never bothered to.
At the very least, the look of the app is nice. It has a purple theme to it which reflects the new look of the site. The new updates are displayed right when the app opens so you can continue to watch your favorites. It saves your viewing progress even if it doesn’t appear that way at first.
One main problem that persisted in the old app was that streaming stopped working after a few episodes. There were two versions of the app, one free version and a paid one that cost $10. According to customer reviews, the paid version wasn’t any better than the free version. After about three episodes, any videos streamed afterward wouldn’t play at all for at least the rest of the day. Even after shutting down the app and rebooting the device, zip. This issue seemed to be addressed with the new app.
Another issue the old app had was the organization of episodes. It seemed that the episode lists were arranged by a three year old who was still trying to figure out how touch technology worked. The new app organized everything in such a pristine manner, all the episodes are in order and you can choose between audio languages.
All in all, it’s a nice app, but nothing ever works all the way out of the gate. Let’s hope all the bugs get fixed by the next update (if there is one).