Episodes ($0.99) by UglyApps is an app to cater to all TV fanatics with everything that needs to be known about any show.
On launch of Episodes, you’ll be prompted to start searching for some of your favorite television shows to add to your list. The database that Episodes pools the data from is The TVDB, which is, for the most part, pretty comprehensive.
I did encounter an issue where I was not getting any results for “Hell’s Kitchen” (yes, I will admit that’s the only reality TV guilty pleasure of mine), but the developer did provide quick help by email when I contacted him about it. The app’s servers cache the data from TVDB. I was informed that if the show you want is not showing up, it’s likely because the database hasn’t been updated recently for the Episodes’ bots to detect it. If this happens to you, I’d recommend contacting the developer since I have gotten quick responses.
When you search for your shows, it should be easy to identify the one you want if there are multiple choices because of the images that are pulled from the database. Tap it, and you get a still image associated with the show and get a synopsis of the show. It also shows the length of the show, the channel and time, and an episode list via a button. To add it, there’s a cool “Slide to add” function that is just like your iPhone lock screen. It can be “Slide to remove” as well, if you change your mind.
Once you get your shows, it’s time to head on over to the Watchlist. In this section of the app, your shows will be split into sections: Unseen, Upcoming, To Be Announced, and No Longer Airing. The show will have a picture to go along with it, and latest episode info will be shown underneath the name of the show (S00E00 format). The app will also tell you how many more days are left until the next new episode.
There’s a little trick to Episodes that I found confusing at first and needed a bit of clarification from the developer. Take, for example, a show like The Colbert Report that airs daily (M-Th). As I added it earlier today in the afternoon, the episode listing for tonight was showing up in the Watchlist as “airs tomorrow.” This is because Episodes will assume that you are aware the show will air later in the day [you're adding it]. The next day, when the next episode is supposed to air, Episodes will mark the episode as ‘unseen,’ which will be differentiated with a red flag in the Watchlist, and create the “Unseen” category.
The developer did this so that you can watch the show live on air, wait until it’s aired, or stream it from online. Whatever way you do it, the ‘Unseen’ flag will help you remember to catch your show when you get a chance to. It caught me off guard at first and I thought it was a glitch, but it’s done on purpose and will take a bit of getting used to, if you watch daily shows.
Episodes will give you a couple of recommendations on shows that you may like, supposedly based on your tastes. I have quit the app and restarted it multiple times and even refreshed from within the app, and I get the same recommendations. I’m not sure how Yo Gabba Gabba! fits into my taste in television though, considering I don’t have any…child-geared shows in my Watchlist. I’m sensing that this recommendation list is preset, and I hope the developers can modify the algorithm to give better recommendations. There isn’t even a way to remove a show from the list, which is a bit disappointing.
An advantage of this app over the other TV show tracker app I reviewed (TV Show Tracker) is that it updates the listings much faster. It also features pull-to-refresh, which is becoming standard in a lot of iPhone apps.
While I like the dark interface and smoothness of the app, it still needs some work. A more up-to-date show database, a fix in the recommendation algorithm, and most importantly – have notifications or alarms to let you know before an episode airs. This is a feature found in TV Show Tracker that I like, because it helps me remember to actually pay attention to the television.
If the developer can improve these things, this would be a definite recommendation from me. But for now, if you like apps to help you keep track of the shows you love, then keep this app on your “Watch list.”