Developer: Dijit Media, Inc.
Price: Free
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
iPad integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The integration of technology means that there are many ways for users to watch their favorite shows thanks to Netflix, Hulu Plus, iTunes, On-Demand and cable services. Users are often flipping back and forth to try and find what they are looking for. A new app known as NextGuide has set out to help iPad users find listings as well as discover new shows and movies that may interest them.

NextGuide aims to bridge the gap between TVs and iPads through its clever personalized interface. The app collects important information such as the user’s cable provider, what on-demand services they use and what interests them and their friends on Facebook. It’s not required to give the app permission to all of these services, but it does help make it more personalized to your tastes. Users can even take personalization a step further by adding categories they are interested in.

Once the setup is complete, the app displays what shows and movies it thinks you’ll want to watch through a hyper-personalized colorful and scrollable interface—which is similar in style to apps like Flipboard and Pinterest. Once a show or movie is tapped on, users can then view more information about it like the season episodes, the cast and crew, recent activity from other NextGuide users, a media gallery and how they can watch it. The app sends users straight to Netflix, iTunes or Hulu so they can get started watching it immediately, users can see what channels they can find it on through their cable provider or they can even favorite it to watch later. Some other note-worthy features include push-notification alerts, DVR recording through DIRECTV and the option to hide shows or movies that aren’t interesting.

NextGuide is a great solution in terms of bringing the TV guide experience to tablets, but it hasn’t quite reached perfection yet. It can be rather confusing at times to use as there are so many options and ways to view listings. I ended up getting lost a few times using the app and endlessly started touching different buttons to find my way back to where I started. Also, it doesn’t incorporate all services like Amazon Prime, YouTube, Crackle and HBO. Hopefully a future update improves the interface to make it easier to use and adds more services to make it even more personalized.

While an update would enhance the user experience, NextGuide is still worth exploring. The app does an excellent job to connect people with the shows they love through powerful social features, and the interface is a lot more pleasant to look at than most guides. If you have an iPad and love watching TV, this free entertainment app is right up your alley. If you get the chance to check it out, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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

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