Developer: TIME INC.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

IMG_0012I have a confession to make.  I love Entertainment Weekly.  I know, I know…there are more intellectually stimulating mags out there, and EW can occasionally hover a bit too close to the terrifying US Weekly and/or People magazine territory, but when it comes to learning about new books, movies, TV shows and more, it’s my go-to rag.

So, when an EW-branded iPad app showed up prominently displayed in the app store, I had to download it and give it a spin.  True to my fixation with EW, I was not disappointed.

At first glance, the EW Must List app seems incredibly limited.  Basically, it takes the two page Must List spread (which catalogues the latest music, book, film and, yes, app, “must-haves” for the week) and translates it to the iPad screen.  Seems sort of ho-hum, doesn’t it?  Fortunately, the developers of the app have harnessed theIMG_0015 power of the iPad display and used it to create a compelling product.  Yes, it looks just like the print version of the Must List (and it might even look a little better.  The iPad is just screaming for high color, dynamic content like this), but clicking on any of the items not only pulls up the blurb written by EW, but also links to, say, movie trailers, song samples, an artist’s Twitter feed or Facebook page, or purchase points like Amazon or the iTunes store.  While writing this review, I even looked at some past lists and quickly pulled up the latest info on the Scott Pilgrim movie, including the hyperactive trailer.  For a pop culture junkie, this is pretty close to nirvana.

As a final treat, users are allowed to add any item to their own Must List, an action accompanied by an animated star spritely hopping into the menu.  While this is just a simple variation on the classic wish list, a la Amazon, it helps generate further enthusiasm for the content while making users come back for more each week.

There’s no doubt that this is a simple and straightforward app, yet there are features I’d like to see in the future updates to the app.  Probably the first and foremost is some sort of social aspect.  It would be great to be able to see friends’ must lists, and even purchase items for them directly from the app. And while the Must List is a weekly tradition in the Entertainment Weekly print magazine, a twice a week Must List would not be a bad thing.  A week is too long to wait for the next Must!

If you always want to know about the next big thing a little bit ahead of the curve, EW’s Must List is a must have for your iPad.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Entertainment, Reviews

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