The update to version 2.1 of NXP Software's popular CineXPlayer movie viewing iPad app sees an improved interface that now offers a thumbnail view instead of just a text list and lets users start transferring and watching an unconverted movie straight away. One of the most interesting additions, however, is the ability to watch 3D movies - either with anaglyph (red/blue) glasses, or glasses-free with the use of GRilli3D's overlay film.

While anaglyph glasses provide different images to the left and right eye through different colored filters, the GRilli3D film places a series of "barrier lines" over the display that blocks different parts of the onscreen image to each eye. While this means there's no need to wear special glasses to get the 3D effect, the brightness of the display will be reduced and you'll have to keep your head still to maintain the effect.

In addition to being able to display Side-by-Side format 3D content, CineXPlayer also includes a real-time 2D-to3D conversion to create a 3D effect for any 2D Xvid video - as is the case on larger TVs, expect mixed results with this though. As well as needing to shell out US$29.99 for the GRilli3D film, activating the 3D conversion also requires an extra $2 in-app purchase.

Other new features in CineXPlayer version 2.1 include the ability to post a favorite movie scene on Facebook with the push of a button and the ability to password protect folders and playlists to keep those non-family-friendly movies under lock and key. CineXPlayer also supports a wide variety of file formats with AC3 sound the only real obvious exception. It also features excellent subtitles (.srt) support.

The Grilli3D overlay film, which is also available for iPhone and iPod touch, isn't the only glasses-free 3D option available on the iPad - or the iPad 2 at least. Although it can't be used for watching 3D movies, scientists at the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction (EHCI) Research Group, last month released an iPhone/iPad 2 app called i3D that creates a 3D effect by tracking the viewer's head movements via the front facing camera and adjusts the perspective of the displayed image appropriately. You can check it out the app in the video below.

I3D is available as a free download from iTunes, while CineXPlayer sells for US$3.99. The GRilli3D protective film is available via the Grilli3D website.

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