The Plex for iOS app is designed both to let you easily access content as you want and also to help you find content to watch or listen to if you don’t already know what you want. This starts with the home screen and continues when you choose to view a particular library.
Tip!: You can use the button (at the top right) from nearly anywhere in the app to open the Navigation Menu for quick access to different areas and features.
Related Page: Navigation Menu
The home screen is designed to help you quickly find interesting content or access your libraries. This is achieved through unique Discover and Browse views.
You can easily switch between the views using the Discover and Browse buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Tip!: Your choice will be remembered so that when you return to the home screen again later, you’re taken to the same view.
The home screen “Discover” tab is designed to help you quickly access content in which you may be interested. This is achieved by displaying several “hubs” of content.
If you have movies or TV episodes that are recently in-progress, they’ll appear in the Continue Watching area for super-quick access. If you haven’t played the item for about a week, it will no longer show up in Continue Watching, but your progress is still remembered.
Tip!: In-progress content will only remain in Continue Watching for about a week. If you wait too long to continue with the item and it disappears here, you can always find it either in your movie library Discover hubs or in On Deck for television content.
On Deck shows you television content that you’re watching. If you have a whole season of content and finish episode 3, On Deck will then have episode 4 waiting for you to quickly start. In cases when you stop watching in the middle of an episode, it will be available for you to pick up right where you left off.
Related Page: What are "On Deck" and "Continue Watching" for?
Just as regular library content is presented as a”hub” on the home screen, your recently accessed playlists are now quickly accessible from the home screen. This is great for getting back to your “Marvel Movies” playlist or for that “On the move” music playlist that has just the right music to motivate your run.
Tip!: Only playlists that have been accessed within the last week will appear here. If you have a playlist you haven’t recently accessed, you can always find it under Playlists in the navigation menu.
The Recently Added areas let you see what content you’ve added of different types and provides quick access to that content. You can see recent additions for movies, music, photos, home videos, or television. For television content, it will even be intelligently stacked for you so that if you add an entire season of content, you’ll just get a single “season” entry displayed rather than a dozen individual episode entries, for instance.
Videos added to your Watch Later queue via the Plex It! bookmarklet or your personal Watch Later email address will appear on the home screen for easy access.
Related Page: Plex It!
If a Plex friend recommends online content to you from a supported website, it will show up here.
Note: The app does not currently support recommending content to other Plex friends. This feature is planned for a future release.
The home screen “Browse” view provides simple, yet fast access to libraries, playlists, and channels.
After entering a library from the navigation menu, you have two distinct ways to view your library, which parallels the choices from the home screen. The first is Discover which brings you intelligent and dynamic “hubs” to help you find and rediscover your media. The second is Browse which provides a simple yet powerful viewing experience that allows you to filter and sort your library to find your desired content.
To make things easy to go between both viewing options, a “switcher” is located at the bottom of the screen.
Tip!: Your choice will be remembered so that when you return to the library again later, you’re taken to the same view.
Each Discover screen is specially crafted to the type of content you are viewing. Be it movies by a particular director, most played music in the month of June, TV Shows from a genre, or photos taken this year, these dynamic displays help you find interesting content.
The following are some examples of the kinds of “hubs” that you might find on the Discover screens. This is not an exhaustive list, and is meant to give you an idea about the variety of ways you might explore your content.
- Recently Released Movies
- Top Movies by Ridley Scott
- Top Movies in Action
- Recently Aired TV
- Start Watching (Shows that you haven’t begun watching yet)
- Rediscover (Shows that you started, but haven’t recently watched)
- Most played in May
- More by Arcade Fire
- Top Albums from 1995
- Artists on Tour
- Photos from 2005
- Photos From the 2010s
- This Month in 2009
- Home Videos
- Videos from 2013
- Continue Watching
- Unwatched Videos
The Browse view lets you access your full library at once, including the ability to filter and sort the contents. You can view your media by type, filter or sort it by a number of options, create smart playlists, and even shuffle your library.
Tip!: When sorting by name you can quickly jump to part of your library by using the alphabet list to the right of the screen.
Type / Filter / Sort
You can browse your libraries by type (such as Artists, Albums, or Tracks), filter them to find specific content, and sort them as desired.
Tip!: By using the Save as Smart Playlist button within the drop-down filter list, you can save your current filter and sort criteria as a smart playlist.
Note: Aside from toggling Unwatched Only or Synced Only, only a single filter can be specified at a time. For more advanced filtering such as search and combining multiple filters you can use the Plex Web app to create a smart playlist.
The button allows you to quickly change to your preferred view for a library. You can enjoy the beautiful “poster-centric” grid view, a simple yet clean list view, or access content based on the folder hierarchy of your media.
From left to right, a preview of the Grid, List, and Folder views.
The Action Bar at the top of a library allows you to perform a number of actions. It can be accessed by tapping the button near the top right of the screen.
When used, these actions will have any current filter or sort options applied. From left to right:
- Add to Playlist
Note: The Sync button will be dimmed and unavailable when it’s not possible to sync. For instance, when not signed in or using a Managed User, when viewing a Cloud Sync server or the local device, or when you don’t have permission to sync from the current server.
Playlists / Channels
Your playlists and Plex channels are accessible right alongside your Plex libraries in the navigation menu.
Playlists are presented with beautiful composite artwork helping you quickly recognize the media they contain. You can play your Firefly playlist that has episodes in DVD order, shuffle your favorite music playlist, or even sync your “Marvel Movies” playlist to your device for offline viewing.
To make changes to a playlist, simply enter the playlist and then pull down from the top of the screen. There, you can access the Edit, Clear, and Delete buttons. You can also swipe left on an item to change its position or swipe right to remove it from the playlist.
Plex channels provide a portal to online content which can be accessed within the iOS app.
Tip!: While it is possible to browse and view channels via the app, if you wish to add or remove channels, please use the Plex Web App.
Note: Channels based on older frameworks are not currently supported. This includes the iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture channels.
Related Page: Channel Plugins
Accessing Your Media
Accessing your media items within the app is easy and simple. You can single tap on an item to go to the preplay screen or open the context menu to access further actions.
Single Tap on an Item
From almost anywhere in the app you can tap on an item to access the preplay screen to see details, access extras or related items, or begin playback.
Related Page: Item Preplay Screen
The context menu for an item lets you quickly access some common actions related to that type of content. For instance, you can choose between resuming or starting from the beginning (if an item is in-progress), shuffle, queue the item, add to a playlist, sync, or more.
You can access the context menu in two ways:
- Long-press on the item artwork
- Single-tap the “title” area below the artwork