TED releases iPad app today


The wonderful videos of the speakers who present at TED conferences around the world can now be enjoyed on this free iPad app.

Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.

TED presents talks from some of the world's most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. Find more than 700 TEDTalk videos (with more added each week) on the official TED app.

TEDTalks are delivered in high or low res formats based on your network connectivity. Curate your own playlist. Watch them later, even when you can't be online.

The TED iPad app features include:

+ “Inspire Me” button. Touching this icon reveals an elegant watch face and the question: “How much time do you have?” Dial up a time, choose the type of talk you want (Inspiring? Funny? Jaw-dropping?) and you’ll get a playlist of talks that fits your schedule.

+ “Themes” serves up curated playlists of TEDTalks around topics such as “The Power of Cities,” “How We Learn,” “A Greener Future” and “Unconventional Explanations.”

+ “Tags” breaks down TEDTalks topics into some 250 categories, from “insects” to “robots,” from “happiness” to “fish.”
“Saved Talks” allows you to download and queue up several hours of TEDTalks for viewing offline anytime.

+ “Playlist Browser” lets you browse ahead in any playlist while watching a saved talk. It’s accessible by tapping the Info button.

Introducing the TED iPad App


  1. Damn, at some point I’m really going to start considering getting one of these slabs.

    In other news, the Rolex sponsorship there sounds really well done. The watch branding for the time selection screen, integrated intelligently into the function, sounds like one of those rare advertising opportunities that was just a good idea in the first place.

  2. Now only if they would make the iPhone/iPad app suck less. It is the buggiest app I have used on the iPhone.

  3. Love it, but can it play the audio only?
    I like to listen to podcasts while I drive on my iPhone, and I love TED talks. This would save me some trouble. Right now I have hobbled together scripts to download TED talk videos and ffmpeg them to MP3 audio only into a folder that syncs with my music and podcasts.

  4. This only makes make hate TED more. If I want to see an intellectual circle jerk, I’ll jack off to “Revenge of the Nerds.” There’s just something inherently phony and disingenuous about TED.

    1. “There’s just something inherently phony and disingenuous about TED.”

      Yes, isn’t awful that TED supports and encourages bright, dedicated people who are helping to end famine, illiteracy, disease around the world, and are providing free videos of all the presentations by these people. That’s so phony and disingenuous of them.

      I hope the TED producers read your post, unit_1421, as you have set a good example here with your honesty and thoughtfulness.

  5. Perfect synergy, vapid pretentious content for vapid pretentious status symbol hardware, funded by the ultimate in pretentious status symbol watches.
    I’m going back to watching hentai on my android tablet.

  6. This is just wrong.

    What we have here is a collection of video talks. An “app” should provide a way to download and view video from the net. Imagine if, instead of using an office suite like Word/Excel/Powerpoint or OpenOffice.org, if instead there was a specialized app to write letters to your spouse, a different one to read letters from your work, and on and on.

    There’s no reason to crap up your device with thousands of overspecialized doohickies, each of which is designed to give you content from one provider.

    1. Exactly. Splitting a perfectly functional World Wide Web into one “app” per website makes absolutely no sense… From a user’s point of view.

      Meanwhile, while we all sit chortling about how Murdoch’s paywall is doomed to failure, Boingboing is saying “isn’t it great, site X has an iPad app!”, effectively celebrating a new resident/inmate of Steve Jobs’ paywalled garden. (No iPad app is “free”; you paid money for the device, and more importantly you surrendered your autonomy when you agreed to leave ultimate control of the device in the hands of Apple.)

      Until recently I would have dismissed this as a passing fad, doomed to be overtaken by a flood of white box mobile devices that deliver equivalent functionality without the restrictions. Then I read a review of a new television set that offered “apps”, including of course Facebook, with more to come once the necessary agreements between the hardware manufacturer and the service providers were reached. The iBusinessModel is spreading to any device with a screen, from any manufacturer.

    2. Spot on. I don’t want to have a Boing Boing app, a Guardian app, a TED app, a Facebook app, etc to do my web surfing. That’s what a web browser’s for.

      There’s apps out there on all the platforms that are useful, but there’s other ones like this which are just cruft.

  7. There IS a TED Talks audio podcast out there, a friend of mine suggested it to me. This just looks like a video podcast served up in app form, which doesn’t make much sense when video podcasts will also play just fine.

    I myself dislike the TED Talks as a bunch of disgustingly pretentious and self-satisfied hobnobbers, self-help authors and self-proclaimed visionaries, usually with something to sell. The show acts like it’s the second coming and assumes everyone’s on the edge of their seat; I’m not even sure what TED stands for, they assume everyone knows already.

    Nice rack though, that might give the video version an edge!

    1. I really don’t get all the TED hate. How exactly can a show act like it’s a pretentious “second coming”? What I see are filled-to-capacity audiences, and non-attendees hitting their website to get video streams at a very high rate. That’s just the market talking.

      But put me down in the group of folks who don’t get why there has to be a separate app for each website. How does that improve user experience? (I have neither an iphone or ipad, so I really don’t know the answer to this question)

    2. “a bunch of disgustingly pretentious and self-satisfied hobnobbers”

      How would you describe yourself? I mean, if you consider William Kamkwamba to be a disgustingly pretentious and self-satisfied hobnobber, then what are you?

      1. For some TED-criticism, see this and this. She makes points I agree with.

        I too would probably be raving about how awesome this yearly event is that I’m important or moneyed enough to be invited to, but I am neither, so I’m outside envious about it. One thing I can absolutely identify to be pretentious is calling those 6000 dollar invitations, “invites”. They’re tickets, okay?

        Also, wow, how can we thank you enough Chris Anderson for letting us peasants get FREE videos of your “ideas worth spreading”, we surely owe it all to you! Maybe that’s what irks me, just like CNN’s bloody “the best news team on the planet” lying sack of shit statement, please just shut up about it and let us have the content, we’ll be grateful to you for being the medium. It’d be like BoingBoing with giant banners saying “the greatest most interesting blog on the planet!”, and being unironical about it… (for another example, gizmodo now embeds a youtube video promoting themselves at the bottom of every post… yeah, STFU gizmodo, at least I don’t have to click play and hear that crap).

  8. It seems like there is validity to the extremes here. william Kamkwamba. . . who can argue with him? But there really is a problem in the U.S. with the “thousand points of light” amounting to thousands of tax shelters.
    Foundations based in Stamford, Conneticut. . . hmmm. Would it be better if corporations simply payed their fair share of taxes so that public schools had enough money?
    Tax Abuse of Charitable Organizations, Charles Grassley.

  9. Man, tough crowd! I followed a few links from reddit over to here, and I’ve just got to highlight how negative this community gets sometimes. Your bashing TED? Free video sharing, artist loving, scientific community building TED? The sawdust in their eye/plank in yr eye parable comes to mind.

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