After what has become one of the longer (and certainly one of the highest-profile) App Store approval delays, SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone has finally gotten Apple's blessing -- with some serious changes under the hood. Most importantly, 3G access has been disabled, meaning you'll only be able to get your Sling on over WiFi -- a serious blow to the app and a huge change from the way SlingPlayer Mobile works on other platforms -- and likely a verification that either Apple or AT&T took serious issue with the bandwidth load imposed by this type of app on the HSPA network. Despite the restriction, Sling will be charging a whopping $29.99 for the download; in exchange for your troubles, though, they've decided to lift the ban on older Slingboxes, with the caveat that they won't be officially supported if you run into trouble.

We've had a chance to play with the app, and it certainly gets the job done -- we just wish it worked a little better. Even on WiFi, control feels laggy, and there's no native guide (though there's an icon to quickly pull up your set-top box's guide). When you're in letterbox mode, you've got black bars around all four sides of the image, meaning that the app isn't taking full advantage of the phone's display; we're hopeful this'll be fixed in a future release, though. Happily, we think Sling really nailed the app's UI -- the on-screen translucent controls are pretty cool and generally work well without obscuring the view. Look to grab your own copy some time between 12:01AM and 6:01AM EDT tomorrow morning, and in the meantime, check out our gallery.

Update: The app's now available, so get ready to part with $30 (and to not part with your 3G bandwidth -- you certainly won't need it here). Thanks, everyone!
Gallery | 19 Photos

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone hands-on