It’s been quiet here for the last couple of months. Something’s been brewing, as the more astute of you may have noticed. That something is another iPhone app, One to Watch.
Another app designed to scratch a particular itch I have. Recently I closed my Lovefilm account, which I used to use as a holding pen for films I wanted to see. I needed something to replace it, and a search of the app store came up lackluster.
All I wanted was a simple, intelligent application to store a list of films. All I got was somewhat ugly applications with a million features. I don’t need an application to show me:
- What’s on at a cinema near me.
- New releases.
- Reviews from some site I’ve never heard of.
- Repeated “sign up to our service before you can use this” dialog boxes.
- A splash screen while it sits around doing goodness knows what when I open the app.
- Errors due to needing constant internet access.
So One to Watch is simple: a list and a search. I’ve put a lot of work into making the app load quickly, help you record a film quickly, and then get on with your life:
- You can start a search in less than two seconds on an iPhone 4.
- Searches retrieve as little data as possible. Useful when you’re in an area with spotty signal.
- As long as the initial search works, the app will cope if you lose signal. No failures due to inessential data.
- Non-essential data — like thumbnails and Wikipedia URLs — are downloaded in the background.
- Scrolling is smooth as butter — no matter how many films you save.
- The app tries to help: it gets a synopsis and links to sites like Metacritic and IMDb for you, to make it easy to decide what to watch when you’re back home.
- The search is backed by Freebase, meaning that virtually every film you could want is available (I’ll add support for adding items not in Freebase very soon).
All this, and it’s still great looking.
The app will be free for at least version 1.0, so get it now! (Or when it’s released, anyway).