During my journey through the App Store, I've found apps that change the way I do things, organise myself and interact with others. Over these years I've come across so many of those it's almost impossible to see anything new. For my surprise, there are still some areas where developers can bring something new. In this case, it ticks all the right boxes.
Todo Movies by Taphive is a simple application that allows you to track the movies you want to watch. While it isn't clear what database is using, the app welcomes you with a search box to type the title of the movie. A list of matching results loads and you only need to tap on the correct result, aided by a miniature of the movie poster.
Up to here, there isn't much difference with IMDB's own app, which I use frequently to check the names of elusive actors. What I like about it is the simplistic approach: instead of overloading you with data — carefully hidden at this stage — you get a gorgeous render of the poster art at Retina Display resolution. Why? Because this is a social app.
A very social take
I often find myself talking about upcoming releases when socialising and at work. It's a common interest conversation topic. Instead of nerding with Google trying to get some details, Todo Movie facilitates the conversation. Have you seen this movie? This is the movie poster, does it ring a bell? Sounds good? Let's watch the trailer!
Of course there is another social layer on top of it. A huge button allows you to share the movie via email, Twitter, Facebook and text message. You don't even need too type or copy and paste to send the details to your friend. If they happen to own the app, the link will open on Todo Movies automatically. Simple. I love this level of minimalism so the app helps you with whatever you're doing instead of becoming the centre of it.
The of course, we get the organisational aspect of it. Todo Movies is a movie-themed remember the milk app that allows you to keep a list of movies to watch and watched without many complications. Compared with the todo apps you already love, here every entry displays the poster art of the movie, which I find an amazing bonus. The app makes use of iOS notifications alerting the user about new releases in the watchlist.
It's all about the interface details
All I have mentioned so far would do for a very intelligent app pitch. Fortunatelly, the unknown Taphive are also masters of mobile user interfaces. I have already mentioned that every asset comes with Retina resolution, an absolute treat in these days pixel perfect displays.
The app itself contains a mix of conventions that will be very familiar to Apple users. Then, you get an unexpected level of dynamism from what I believe are custom animations. Tapping the share button, for instance, gracefully slides up a panel with four blue buttons. This little thing is a pleasure to use and watch (see the video below).
I must mention that the app is aware of local releases, catering for more that the American blockbusters — a very important restriction if you look for movie apps on the App Store today. My tests looking for European films in languages other than English worked like a charm. I used, for example, the French film with Audrey Tautou originally titled L'Auberge Espagnole. Todo Movies managed to find The Spanish Apartment although the keyword used, auberge, only appears in the poster.
If I had to complain about something it would be the lack of export options in case you want to share or maybe print the full list of movies to watch. While testing the app without WiFi I bumped into some loading issues, so be ware that it needs data connection to pull results from its database.
Overall I'm really impressed with Todo Movies by Taphive. The concept matches my needs, consulting information about a new release and its trailer without distracting me with unnecessary details. The UI work should also be praised. It's the level you want to expect from an iOS app and it can proudly sit on your iPhone springboard without feeling inferior to other, perhaps, more complex apps you use everyday. If this was released by a popular developer everybody would be talking about it and it could easily reach the top ten. Don't let it go unnoticed and check it out.