iTV Shows 2 is a handy app for keeping track of your favorite TV shows across all of your iOS devices. It has an improved interface, a slick new icon, local notifications for shows about to air, and it supports iCloud sync just to name a few of its features.
The user interface in iTV Shows 2 is extremely well done; the developers definitely hit the mark with this version of the app because not only is it gorgeous but it is also easy to use and contains all the features one would expect from an app dedicated to informing you about TV shows. To use the app, one needs only to search for (and add) some TV shows to the “My Shows” list. I immediately noticed an improved performance when simply searching for a few TV show titles. iTV Shows 2 definitely seemed snappier and more accurate with its search results. After adding my favorites “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory”, I jumped back to the main screen and noticed the large beautiful icons separating out the shows. These are simply categories to help the user visualize when the TV show is going to air, if it has already aired, or if the next season has yet to announce a specific start date.
Another feature I enjoyed in iTV Shows 2 was the Genius tab which displays TV shows it thinks I might also enjoy watching. It was extremely accurate with its selections, however I am not entirely sure how it derives these suggestions. Perhaps I just enjoy very common and popular TV shows. Some of the shows it suggested that I happen to truly enjoy include “Dexter”, “Breaking Bad”, and “New Girl”. These are very different shows, but the app was spot on suggesting that I check them out.
Other features include a handy calendar view in which you can tap around and view episodes throughout the month. It also supports all of the latest iOS buzz words including universal, Retina Display ready, local notifications, and iCloud synchronization. I know people have come to expect iOS apps to be universal but I still appreciate each developer that decides to essentially give away two apps for the price of one. The iPad app seemed to have all of the love and detail that went in to the iPhone version. The iCloud sync worked flawlessly during my brief test, all of the shows I added while setting up the app on my phone were already added to the iPad version after simply launching the app on the second device.
The only issue I experienced was with the local notifications. I had received my first notification for an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” exactly 1 hour late. I immediately assumed it was a time zone setting issue in the app. Sure enough, I figured out that I had to go in to Settings > Preferences > Time Zone > and enable “Perform correction”. The note by the developers state to only use this setting if the app fails to automatically perform the time zone, so perhaps you readers will experience no issues at all. Other than this small hiccup the first day using iTV Shows 2, it has been very reliable.
I have to admit, at first I questioned whether or not I needed an app to remind myself to watch a TV show since 90 percent of the time I don’t watch TV shows live anyway, I use a DVR or stream the show on a network-connected device. This touches on what I feel is an industry wide shift in how consumers are interested in viewing TV shows – many of which are opting out of standard cable television services in favor of web services like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video on Demand. I actually have traditional cable service but still subscribe to all three of these services (don’t ask me why), yet I was surprised to find as much value in iTV Shows 2 as I did. My wife and I enjoy watching entire seasons of TV shows at a time so checking off episodes as we watched them was a useful feature. I would be nice if the app eventually added some statistics about the number of TV shows I watch: maybe it could calculate the number hours I spend on TV (I am a statistics geek). Furthermore, I enjoyed the supplied information per show, e.g. what TV shows have seasons coming up, like HBO’s True Blood which is starting soon. iTV Shows 2 even has Twitter integration to share episode details with friends which was a pleasant surprise.
Overall, iTV Shows 2 has a sharp new user interface along with some pretty unique features. It may not be my most used app but it does serve a specific purpose and has definitely earned a permanent spot on my iOS devices.
iTV Shows 2 is available on the App Store for $2.99