Best Android apps for movie buffs
The little green robot has been getting plenty of Pocket-lint screen time of late. Why? Because it's Android Week and that means we'll be bringing you the latest info on Google's OS as well as daily round-ups of the best Android apps around.
We've already covered the best gaming apps and the the top Android-only apps, but today's round-up is all about movies. If you're an Android phone-toting film buff then read on for our pick of the best movie-based apps.
Movies by Flixster
Flixster is a social movie site where users can share movie ratings and check out what their online friends are watching. You can also link up with with your Facebook and MySpace accounts (if you're still using MySpace, that is).
Flixster's app is one of the most downloaded movie apps, reaching 20 million downloads last summer (across Android, iOS and BlackBerry). One of the most useful features is the fact that you can use the app to update your Netflix rental list (US users only). As well as that you can browse DVDs, watch trailers, find out what's on at your local cinema and also read reviews from Flixster's review site, Rotton Tomatoes. If you're going to download just the one movie app, this is probably it.
Anyone that love films will know that IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) is an absolute must-have. As well as listing pretty much every film (and TV programme) ever made, as well as those that are currently in production, it also includes over 3.2 million cast and crew profiles. For each film it will give you a cast list, plot summary and trivia.
It also includes links to Amazon for those films and programmes that are available to buy and it will also give you location-based show times for your nearest cinemas. In short, it's the most comprehensive source of film info around, making it an absolute essential.
If you're a fan of old and/or obscure films, then Movie Vault may be the app for you. It enables you to stream full-length films, choosing from a wide selection of more than 1,000 classic flicks. The films can be searched by several variants including genre, title, actor, director and keyword. Each movie is displayed with its cover art on a virtual wooden shelving unit for a touch of extra retro coolness.
You'll find a brief summary of each film (ported over from IMDB) and the app will automatically update when new films are added. You can save movies in a queue to watch later and you can also pause and pickup where you left off later on. This is a great source for watching films that are hard to come by, and after the one-off payment for the app, streaming is free.
In the UK, mobile phone operator Orange runs a film-based promo known as Orange Wednesdays where you can get 2 for 1 cinema tickets - you guessed it - every Wednesday. This app will grant you your free ticket and also offers other handy features for you to plan your trip. You can find out which films are on at nearby cinemas, as well as reading reviews, watching trailers and looking up maps and directions for how to get there.
And as for your lucky pal who you're taking to the cinema for free? You can send them the details straight from your app so there's no need to compose a lengthy text message with all the info. It's only fair that they buy the popcorn.
This is one for US Android users, from movie rental firm Redbox. The app will let you browse and reserve films so that you can then pick them up at your nearest Redbox kiosk. As you might imagine, there's also a section of the app that will give you directions to your nearest kiosk.
Surprisingly rival firm Netflix doesn't yet have an Android app, but this is something that we exepct to see very soon, complete with movie streaming capability. Meanwhile, Blockbuster already offers a film streaming app, but so far the reviews haven't been great.
TMZ is the best source around for entertainment news and has a rich history for breaking big stories, including the untimely death of King of Pop Michael Jackson. The initials stand for thirty-mile zone - which refers to the area around LA's biggest studios. This nifty app will give you instant access to the site's breaking news, complete with picture and videos to keep you up to date with all the latest Hollywood news.
It's packed with salacious celeb gossip, but it's also the source of lots of interesting movie-based info, direct from the set, so it's great for film fans.
If you tend to download a lot of films from the web then you'll know that this can sometimes take quite a while. Transdroid enables you to search for a torrent and start it downloading remotely. What that means is that you can use your phone to start downloading a film on your PC while you're out and about so that's its ready to watch by the time you get home.
It's not the most straightforward app in the world, as you'll need to invest some time once you've downloaded it to link it up with your torrent client. Having said that, if you download a lot of movies then it's worth a chunk of your time. Obviously there are copyright issues here, but Android Market seems to be fairly relaxed about these kind of apps, so it's up to you whether you choose to enter the sometimes shady world of downloading copyrighted material.
WB Digital Copy Manager mobile
As the name suggests, this app will let you watch any Warner Bros. digital copy movie on your Android handset. The movie giant now includes digital copies of many of its films on the DVDs and Blu-ray that it sells. This means that you can load a digital file of the film onto your PC and then transfer it to a mobile device. Once you've got WB Digital Copy Manager loaded onto your computer you can use the app to sync your library of films to your phone.
This means that you can either stream your films and TV programmes from your PC to your Android handset, or download to watch later. In short, it's a great tool for those that like to watch their movies while out and about.
We've already mentioned RockPlayer in our roundup of Android-only apps, but it would seem amiss not to mention it here as it's probably the best Android video player around. Essentially, it's a multi-format video and audio player that plays pretty much every format under the sun. While the on-board Android video file support isn't bad, it can't cope with everything, and that's where RockPlayer comes in.
It's great for people who download a lot of movies from the web as it supports formats such as avi, Xvid and DivX. Top-notch video format support for free? You can't say fairer than that.
If you like old movies then the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) app is a real treat. Like the TV channel of the same name, the app is all about old films and is packed with info about cult classics, along with photo galleries, original artwork and historical information. It also includes plenty of in-depth features about the making of numerous films and there are video clips and trailers to whet your appetite.
There's also a schedule of flicks playing on the TCM TV channel so that you can plan your sofa-based activities weeks in advance.
Have you got any favourite movie-based apps for Android? Let us know in the comments box.