I am huge movie buff. If you are like me, you will know how difficult it is to find quality content to watch once the famous movies have all been seen. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is home to the largest collection of movies and TV shows made across the globe. The site plays a key role in finding movies and TV shows that might interest you.
IMDb also has a fantastic chronological listing of the works of actor, director and creative people of all types. Owned and operated by Amazon, IMDb has expanded its reach to the smartphone ecosystem. Today we will take a look at their Android app.
Downloading IMDb will not cost you anything and the app supports all versions of Android from 1.6 and above.
IMDb’s user interface is streamlined and inspiring. The app open up on the Movies section which is divided into two. The first half has a brilliant slider, with an album art-like view of titles that are currently viewed most on IMDb. It is a great way to jump directly to popular titles, fast. However, I could not see direct link to trailers and videos in the slider like in iOS, only link to movies and shows.
If you scroll down, you can see a bunch of interesting listings, including the top 250 movies and the bottom 100 of the turkeys, as voted by movie enthusiasts. Some of these listings are standard while others are not and get changed often to add variety. Now that it is the season of the Oscars, there is a dedicated listing for Academy award nominees.
IMDb is comprehensively categorized and you can access titles based on your choice of genre, actors, writers and so on. For example, if you access the Popular movies by Genre listing, you can see a huge list of genre known to man (and then some more).
What makes IMDb on Android (and iOS) an awesome app is its usage of thumbnails when available. When you select a genre or a list, all the titles are accompanied by a thumbnail view of their posters. Similarly, when you are accessing a list of people, images of them show up in the left along with their name. This feature is extremely useful as there a lot of titles with closely spelled names and remakes. I don’t have to actually tell apart the many creative people with the same name, and fans will find it easier to pick by looking at a headshot.
When you select the name of a title, you will see all the data pertaining to the movie, displayed under multiple sections. Unlike the web site, where you will have to scroll way down the page to see the runtime and the MPAA rating of the title, in the mobile app we have that at the very top. Immediately following the rating are the images and trailers sections. It would have been nice to have the same slide effect in the images section too, but I guess handling a large number of images would have been cumbersome.
Tap on an image to see it in full resolution. Sadly, and strangely, options to share the images via email or social networks are not available. At least the entire gallery can be accessed by using the arrow keys. Trailers stream pretty smoothly and will play even if your device does not support Adobe Flash.
The Details section holds the plot summary, genre and release date. IMDb’s plot summary is always spot on and gives a clear overview of the title in question. Following it are the Top Billed Cast and Crew section. While the cast have their images before their names, the crew does not.
Looking for a review of the movie before buying the ticket or renting it? That’s always a good idea and IMDb has a dedicated section for reviews. Reviews from multiple outlets are dutifully collected and listed. I was impressed by the thoroughness of their compilation and it looks like almost every single review of the movie is tracked here. Since these reviews are not written by IMDb staff or users, the links will open in the web browser.
The People section is all about the stars that make these movies sellable in the fist place. Placed prominently in the home screen of the app, this section shows the images of the most viewed actors in a slider. These images are pulled from the STARmeter, where the actors are ranked based on their popularity at IMDb. This listing changes every week and all rankings are accompanied by rankings from the previous week too. From the People section, you can see the list of Hollywood personalities born on the current day, too.
I don’t have to rave a lot about IMDb in general or about the app that funnels the same awesomeness to your mobile screen. IMDb compiles every single detail about the movies and the industry. You do not have to Google for anything specific about a movie you are searching for. From trailers to trivia, they have got it all. One aspect that might not live up to the overall brilliance of the app is the user-created trivia section. Some of the biographical data might be outdated or totally bogus to begin with. That oddity apart, IMDb is without doubt the Holy Grail of a movie buff.