Who doesn’t like free? And who doesn’t like great iPad apps? When the two come together it’s good stuff. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Best Free iPad App of the Week here every weekend.
This week’s pick is i.TV – the best TV guide type app (with lots more to it) that I’ve found for the iPad. It lets you see what’s airing on TV, and what’s available on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes.
Here are some of its key features:
-Local TV listings based on your service provider (US and Canada).
-Bookmark favorite shows
-Schedule your TiVo DVR
-Miss an episode of your favorite show? i.TV helps you find it on iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix
-Add shows to your Netflix disc or instant queue
-Entertainment news that updates in real time and filter by favorite shows
Sign in to i.TV with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or AOL account to access advanced features and allow synching from your iPhone to your iPad.
The app’s main sections are Shows, On TV, and Feed. Shows has sections for New Shows, My Favorites (the ones you’ve marked as favorites), New Tonight, Most Favorited (by all users), Emmy Winners, Oscar Winners, Staff Picks, You Gotta Be Kidding, and My Alerts.
There’s also a Where to Watch sub-section of Shows that will let you know where to find a show on TV, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and iTunes.
The On TV section is the TV guide section of the app. Once you enter your location and TV provider’s details, this section will show you what’s on right now and up to about two weeks ahead on all your available terrestrial and cable channels. It’s easy to swipe left and right to move through the hours of the day or through upcoming days. By default the view shows all shows, but you can easily filter by genre with just a couple of taps – in case you only want to see sports, or comedy, or family & kids, and so on. There’s also a search bat if you want to look for a specific program.
In both the Shows and On TV sections if you tap on an indiviual show’s entry you’ll see a brief summary for it, and lots more as a popover on the right-hand side. The popover area also lets you set an alert for new episodes or all episodes of the show, DVR the show via TiVo, check in via Twitter or Facebook, and add the show as a favorite. There’s also a top news area for the show, where to watch links, links to show details on IMDB, Wikipedia, and YouTube, and a photo gallery for shows that have them available.
The Feed section is news with real-time updates and the ability to filter by favorite shows.
I’ve tired out a number of TV Guide apps on the iPad and i.TV is the best of them by far. If you want it to just be a TV guide, just let you quickly find when a favorite show is on or find something cool to watch when you’re bored, it does a great job. If you want more in areas like show information or sharing and socializing a little around your viewing, that’s there too.
Navigation in the app is easy and the UI is great.
The app shows occasional full page ads, but they are easy to close with a single tap and really not intrusive.
Here’s an App Store link for i.TV. It’s free of course and it’s a universal app that will run on both iPad and iPhone.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week.