TV and Movie Apps for the iPad - dummies

TV and Movie Apps for the iPad

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

You can choose from plenty of TV and movie apps for your iPad, but not all are killer apps. A killer app refers to an application so sweet or so useful that just about everybody wants or must have it. Here are a few killer apps for TV and movies you can watch, or learn about, on your iPad.

ABC Player for iPad

Do you watch any ABC-TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy; Dancing with the Stars; Castle; or Modern Family? If so, grab your copy of the free ABC Player now.

With this app and a Wi-Fi connection, you can watch complete episodes of your favorite ABC-TV shows anytime you like. You can find the shows and episodes you want to watch in lots of ways.

And it’s all free! Yes, the shows do have commercials, but would you rather pay the average cost of an episode of a TV show in the iTunes Store for the commercial-free version?

Flixster app for iPad

People who like movies use the Flixster app a lot. Feed it your zip code, and then browse local theaters by movie, show time, rating, or distance from your current location. Or, browse to find a movie you like and then tap to find theaters, show times, and other info, as shown in the figure.

Another nice feature is the ability to buy tickets to most movies from your iPad with just a few additional taps.


Find out show times, watch the trailer, or get more info on the director or cast with a single tap. You can also read reviews and e-mail movie listings to others with a single click. You can even enjoy the movie trailers for soon-to-be-released films and DVDs. Other free movie showtime apps are out there, but Flixster is the best.

IMDb app for iPad

On the subject of the silver screen, who can resist opening IMDb, shorthand for Internet Movie Database. And what a database it is, especially for the avid filmgoer. This vast and delightful repository of all things cinema is the place to go for complete cast/crew listings, actor/filmmaker bios, plot summaries, movie trailers, critics’ reviews, user ratings, parental guidance, famous quotations, and all kinds of trivia.

You can always search for movies, TV shows, actors, and so on by typing a name in the search box in the upper-right corner of the screen. Or, tap Browse at the lower left to find current movies by show times, what’s coming soon, or box office results.

You can browse TV recaps, too, or find people born on the day you happen to be looking and poking around the app. It’s also fun to check out the most-viewed celebs on IMDb. The recent roster included Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Lynn Collins, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Zooey Deschanel.

One piece of advice to movie buffs: Avoid the IMDb if you have a lot of work to do. You’ll have a hard time closing the curtain on this marvelous app.

Netflix app for iPad

Flixster, IMDb, and now Netflix. If you love movies, too, you’re sure to be a fan of the Netflix app. Over time, Netflix, the company that built its reputation by sending DVDs to subscribers through the mail, started streaming movies over the Internet to computers, TVs, and other consumer electronics gear. You can now add the iPad to that list.

From the iPad, you have more or less instant access to thousands of movies on demand. And although these titles aren’t exactly current blockbusters, we know you’ll find plenty of films worth seeing. You can search by genre (classics, comedy, drama, and so on) and subgenre (courtroom dramas, political dramas, romantic dramas, and so on).

Although the app is free, as are the movies you choose to watch on the fly, you have to pay Netflix streaming subscription fees. You also need an Internet connection, preferably through Wi-Fi, though Netflix works on 3G and 4G models as well.

DVD Netflix subscribers might also quibble about the fact that you can’t manage your DVD queue inside the app.