The default video player on the iPad can only do so much. It’s good but it’s not as powerful as you want it to be. Thankfully, Apple didn’t think of keeping developers away from playing with video player apps designed for the iPad.
And that means there’s a ton of them on the App Store. Look around and you see countless iPad video players. Some of them, users say, are the best. Some are good. Some are so-so.
While the definition of “best” differs from person to person based on their requirements and the features, we nevertheless thought to collect the most popular and trustworthy iPad video players for you.
Each iPad video player app has its own set of pros and cons and while it’s easy to judge them based on user reviews, I feel that nothing beats using them personally.
Note: Apple’s change in policies has stripped a lot of players the power to support AC3 codecs. If you are particularly looking for that, choose CineXPlayer HD.
Best Free Video Players for iPad and iPad Mini
1). OPlayer Lite
OPlayer Lite is currently one of the best video players for iPad. It has excellent support for almost all formats (the latest update includes MKV support too). There’s an AC3 issue with the current version though. Still, a far better player than many others out there. The decoding can be particularly tricky with other apps but Oplayer appears to handle it quite good.
2). HD Player
HD Player is one of the simplest video players on the App Store. Users do occasionally tell us that there are codec issues but we’ve been having a smooth run here. HD Player allows Wi-fi transfers too and the decoding is pretty good. However, you’ll need to shell out a $1.99 IAP to get the audio codec support. It’s not pricey, if you ask me.
3). VMPlayer Lite
If your video file isn’t using AC3, EAC3 or Dolby codecs, you’re going to love VMPlayer because it’s a feature-rich and beautifully-crafted video player for the iPad. And it does support a ton of other codecs and HD formats, including those of MKV and FLV. Scores of internal video options makes it a full-fledged app.
4). GPlayer Lite
GPlayer Lite is one true and trust-worthy video player from the App Store. It supports most formats leading up to 720p MKV on capable devices like the iPad 3 or more. The player has a minimal and neat interface – by far, one of the coolest we’ve seen – and gets the job done without getting in your way. Watch out: you’ll need to buy Gplayer (the full version) to enjoy the app completely.
5). 8Player Lite
8Player Lite and the paid version ($5.99) offer a clean and simple way to access video not just on your iPad but any other DLNA-compatible device. The cool thing about 8Player is its interface and it kind of makes up for the lack of a full-fledged video format support. Still, it supports all popular formats although there’s no AC3 support due to the Apple issues.
flex used to be an awesome player (it continues to be so) and if about 4000 votes give an average of 4-stars, it does indicate how good the app is. Flex can handle almost all types of file formats but don’t let the software fool you. It’s free but you have an in-app purchase of $7.99 which unlocks all the essential support. Technically, if you want to play all your files, that’s the cost you should be willing to pay.
Best Paid Video Players for iPad and iPad Mini
1. AVPlayer/AVPlayer HD
AVPlayer HD is specifically designed for the iPad. Amongst most iPad video players, AVPlayer HD ranks high. Supports most popular formats including MKV, AVI, XVID and also features subtitle file support. Adding files to the app is as easy as drag-and-drop. Supports AC3 too.
2. CineXPlayer HD
CineXPlayer HD is currently the only leading app on App Store which has error-free AC3 support. It brings a ton of other features to the table and is practically kick-ass. There are some magic features that convert your videos (almost) to HD even if they’re SD. Tons of other options including ability to do direct downloads from the web. And oh, gesture control.
Download CineXPlayer HD
ArkMC actually comes as a complete suite of a powerful video streamer and a player. The key focus is on wireless and seamless UpnP/DNLA sharing but the player, it turns out, is enormously powerful and capable too. The Ark Media Player supports a wide range of file formats so you shouldn’t find it hard to use the streamer as a favorite player too.
Good Player used to be a good guy actually, till the rules of the game changed it all. In the past, you could play even AC3 files without needing any conversion. Even though that has changed, GoodPlayer still continues to be a really decent video player for the iPad: has a neat and beautiful interface, supports a plethora of other media formats and is might easy to use. There are some interesting features too like password protection and audio channel selection.
5. It’s Playing
It’s Playing is a cool iPad video player. It’s been hit with the codec issues too but it still has a powerful support and easy way to play video files from your library. Interesting aspects include direct subtitle download, gestures, easy way to access videos from a wide variety of sources, and a ton of video features to enrich your experience.
Download It’s Playing