Don’t we all love movies? It seems just about everyone I know with an iPod Touch or iPhone has a Movie app installed to find out show times, new releases, ratings and more. While most of them are free, I have yet to come across one that I would consider a must have. Enter Hot Popcorn, a newly released Movie app by Boctor Design that could very well blow the competition right out of the water. Not only is the interface well designed, it comes loaded with features that even includes purchasing tickets right within the app. Nice.
The first thing you will notice about Hot Popcorn is an interface that is very polished and user friendly. Once you select a movie, a quick glance at the screen will reveal its vital stats without the need of opening sub-menus. Users will find ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and MRQE.com (much like Metacritic) , an amazon link where you will find more user reviews and a ‘BUY TICKETS’ stub that will allow users to order tickets without leaving Hot Popcorn. One thing I should stress: whatever it is you are trying to look up (RT ratings, amazon or buying tickets), you will NOT have to leave Hot Popcorn. With a built in browser, everything can be viewed from within the app. Very very cool indeed. Personally, any app that closes up just to open a link in Safari is downright annoying.
Under the ‘Movies’ tab found at the bottom of the app, users will be able to scroll through films according to Box Office hits, In Theaters, Opening, and Upcoming. For those interested in DVDs, users will find sections in Top Rentals, Current, New and Upcoming releases. Having browsed through both ‘Movie’ and ‘DVD’ sections extensively, I find looking up movies/dvds on the iPhone has never been this easy and intuitive. The presentation is top notch and users can easily read through reviews and ratings without resorting to Safari.
‘Search’ and ‘Trailers’ are two other features that can keep users busy for hours. While I am not certain if Hot Popcorn will find every single movie ever made, it did find every movie I threw at it, including Casablanca (1942), Some Like it Hot (1959) and Shall We Dance (1996- Japanese version). If Watching trailers is your cup of tea, there are 80+ (that I counted) you can enjoy.
Purchasing tickets is essentially done through movietickets.com. You can manually enter your credit card info, or better yet, login to MovieTickets to retrieve your card numbers. ( for this to work, you must have an account set up at MovieTickets and registered a valid Credit Card via their Quick Checkout section). I went as far as logging into my MovieTickets account and my Mastercard info indeed found its way into Hot Popcorn. Very handy for those who don’t want to re-enter CC numbers every single time.
As much as I enjoyed using Hot Popcorn, there is one major issue I had with the app, and that is stability. Hot Popcorn crashed more often than I would have liked, resulting in some frustrating experiences. Peter Boctor (developer for the app) has been great in answering any questions I had and let me know he is looking into this issue. Once an update is released to remedy this problem, it will be smooth sailing.
Hot Popcorn is by far the best Movie App I have tried at the App Store. With a well designed interface and easily accessible features that put other similar apps to shame, anyone who is looking for a better alternative than what’s currently available should definitely give Hot Popcorn a chance. $1.99 is a great price for the admission, especially if you are a movie junkie.