We saw the Planet of the Apps premiere episode released at 9 p.m. Pacific time last night, June 6. This free original television series produced by Apple Music met an audience that may already be growing tired of reality shows, but it puts a spin that is fresh and new. Shark Tank has met the App Store, but how well does Planet of the Apps stand up against series produced by more established television networks?
The Good in Planet of the Apps’ Premiere Episode
Let’s talk first about what the Planet of the Apps premiere episode got right. I loved the fact that the undoubtedly hundreds of hours worth of pitch coverage was distilled down to allow the very first candidates get the number of Yes votes they received. It definitely gave a “feel good” vibe to the first minutes of the show.
The insertion of titles defining key acronyms and phrases was also great, and allowed viewers to understand the intricacies not only of technical terms from a programming standpoint, but also much of the business jargon used by the panelists and the venture capitalists. It helped make the audience a more integrated part of the tension and action, even if there was no actual participation.
I also thought the panelists gave great feedback to the app developers and founders. While it was mildly heartrending to see the men behind Twist get turned down by all four panelists, it was completely understandable. The critiques provided by each of the judges was fantastic, and will help the trio refine their vision and perhaps make a successful dating app with the twist they want to give it.
Check Out the Apps Featured on the Premiere Episode of Planet of the Apps
What Didn’t Work in Planet of the Apps’ First Episode?
When I see an iPhone app screenshot or video, I like to see it the way I’d view it on my iOS device. The fact that the first few candidate app founders didn’t use device frames around their app images and videos was frustrating, simply because those media assets didn’t look professional. Only Companion, the personal safety app, used frames around their screenshots and app demonstrations. I’m not sure this can be blamed entirely on the series, though.
If the “contestants” in the Planet of the Apps premiere provided their own demonstration assets without any coaching, the blame rests solely on those developers’ shoulders. I noticed that Pair, which originally did not have any frames around its app demonstrations, produced an entirely different presentation for the venture capitalists that was much more professionally executed.
Speaking of the presentations, more coaching really should have been offered on the design aspect of the pitches to the venture capitalists. Pair’s use of a white rectangular background against black text in the early part of its Keynote presentation was, in my opinion, a serious faux pas. Companion did a much better job, using text color choices that contrasted with the background of the presentation, without the need for awkward-looking rectangular highlights to set the text off from the image behind it.
My Final Thoughts on the Planet of the Apps Premiere
I’m a very finicky member of the television viewing audience. A show really has to grab my attention and hold it for me to keep watching. I loved the fact that we saw the candidates go from their initial pitch to the panelists all the way through to their presentation to the venture capitalists.
The producers of Planet of the Apps did an excellent job of selecting footage that would present both a failure and a success, while still keeping things realistic. They kept the show fun and engaging, helping me understand the intricacies of developing an app and getting it funded. I’ll definitely stay tuned to future episodes of Planet of the Apps, and that’s not something most series can say of me.
Haven’t watched the Planet of the Apps premiere episode yet? Check it out on Apple Music or the Planet of the Apps website for free. For a limited time, you don’t even need to be an Apple Music subscriber.