Free update packed with gorgeous new features
The handy Todo Movies has reached version 2.0 with a bunch of new features, loyal to the original premise of helping you to remember the movies you just forget about. It goes from "Have you watched the latest Tarantino movie?" to "Do you think the next Ironman will be any good?" Not only you can create a watch-later list, but also to access related information, trailers, images and related content within a beautiful interface.
In the last month the Taphive team has focused in implementing plenty of small improvements that leaves the original search functionality behind the curtain. Organised in upcoming, in theatres or genres, the huge backend provided by Tmdb.com is now accessible in a friendlier way, helping you to pick something good for a night out in the theatre or renting at home.
Movie titles are placed on grid with a miniature of the poster art; an inviting touch to tap and explore a short synopsis and the related data. The first change you will notice is the five star review system, which is a mashup of information from sources like Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes and Tmdb.com. A subtle animation sliding the information from the left invites you to scroll horizontally to reveal more stats, such as critic's score in numbers rather than the star system.
Within the movie window you have five buttons on the bottom menu bar, being the central "add to watch-later list" the most prominent, a big like Instagram. From there you can preview the trailer — either in standard or HD definition depending on your cellular connection, a picture gallery, iTunes related content such as soundtrack or apps and the share option — which I found quirky and fun in my original review.
A curation helper
Perhaps the most important change is the hand-picked lists, which along the combined and simplified ratings, begins to give the app some sense of film connoisseur. I still think it suffers a bit from a blockbuster syndrome — talking from my European perspective — as some of the picks are very predictable. The documentaries selection is short and old, whereas iTunes Rewind selection is still very mainstream but way richer. Just to give you an idea, the Sci Fi section includes Blade Runner, Alien and The Fifth Element as well as Casper (the friendly ghost) and Jim Carrey's The Mask.
Despite the disagreements in the titles selected, Todo Movies 2 does it with such a flair that it's difficult to complain. The presentation is silently genius, using tricks such as a slow Ken Burns effect on the featured items and navigation animations. As I noted on my review, the UI deserves praise, allowing to you immerse yourself for some minutes in film exploration.
My small complaint is that the layout appears to work better on taller iPhone 5s, as in my stubby 4S the poster art is slightly hidden by the navigation menus at times, others looking stretched to fit in, making it look wider than what it should.
Other than that, new additions like iCloud, Dropbox integration and notifications for new releases show the direction this app is taking. I can only praise the work of TapHive for adding all these improvements as a free update for current users and can't wait to see what they are capable of on a different app.