UK TV Guide
May 25, 2010 11:16 AM –
UK TV Guide features: 3 day’s listings, 3 view modes: Matrix, Channel Listing and Hour Listing, Program description and reminder, Refined and Favourite channels, Program Searching, Send program info via Email/SMS/Twitter.
AndroidTapp.com Android App Review:
Pros & Cons:
- Superb reminder and sharing functionality
- Difficult to use
- Ugly as that girl in school whose name you forget but you remember she’s really ugly
Into the crowded market place of iffy television guides comes the UK TV Guide to revolutionize…………. nothing at all. As with all its competitors the UK TV Guide does some individual things well, really well in some places, but is fatally flawed in others. If someone cherry picks all the best features from these different guides and wraps it all up in an app that doesn’t appall me with its ugliness then I will be sold. Unfortunately I am still waiting.
Upon starting up the app you are invited to specify your favourite channels from a frankly enormous list full of channels you hadn’t heard of. The ‘Blighty’ channel for instance, is probably a load of crap though of course no one would know since no one watches it. For me this process took a quite some time and forced my HTC Hero to crash on multiple occasions.
Luckily you only have to do this once. After that time the app home screen changes to show your channels listed vertically down the side with a time line and the channels’ schedules stretching along the x-axis. All the programmes that have already finished are grayed out to show that they are in the past. A nice little feature this.
There is a date cell in the top left corner showing the current date and when pressed allows you to inspect your channels’ schedules for the next two days. This is pretty good but I would have preferred to be able to check out the whole week’s listings. In truth I had to read through the included instructions for the app to know how to do this. If I have to read instructions to get a TV guide to work properly, then the designers have done something wrong.
Clicking (pressing?) the channels thumbnail takes you to a page which shows you the entire day’s listings for that particular broadcaster. A pretty handy feature but I would question why it is displayed with coloured text on a black background unlike every other page in the app. This admittedly may be a small and personal issue but I like my apps to have a thread of uniformity running through them. From this page, or indeed on any other page of the app you can click on an individual program to get more detailed information and set a reminder. The problem here is that the text can be incredibly small on a channel page which makes it very finicky to get the right show. There is no zoom function at all.
The reminders are pretty great on this app. You can set them to alert you from the notifications bar of your phone or integrate the notification into your Google calendar. It would be nice to be able have both but that might just be me.
I’m a member of the camp that thinks Facebook and Twitter integration is overdone and normally pretty useless. However this app gets it absolutely right. When setting a reminder you also have the option to send it with the aforementioned social networks (obviously) but also with Evernote and other installed blogging apps.
There is an amazingly useful search function which even auto-completes your searches and takes you directly to the program info. Seriously seriously awesome.
UK TV Guide Home Screen
UK TV Guide Channel Info
UK TV Guide Program Info
This is about as useful as a TV guide can get in that it allows you to plan a lot of TV watching. Go figure huh? Still, I can’t get past the fact that I usually need to check a channel’s output more than two days in advance.
Ease of Use:
This is a serious problem for this app. I had to read the instructions to figure out how to squeeze all the functionality out of it. I only found out that you could change the schedule date in the app by doing this. Not good at all.
This might have been my favoured TV guide but………….. see below.
Oh man. If apps actually existed in the eighties then this would remind me of one those crappy looking apps you got in the eighties. When scrolling along the timeline on the home screen….wait, that’s not right. You don’t scroll. You just swipe, wait for what seems like an ice-age to pass and then the screen changes. What’s wrong with a smooth scrolling timeline? When pressing on a programme the app gives you no feedback as to where you have pressed. There are no animations, transitions or colour changes to show that a button has been depressed. It’s like the early days of touchscreens all over again.