I’m a movie and TV show fanatic. I could sit on my couch all day long and watch one show after another. In fact, I do that whenever I get a chance. For a couch potato, the problem these days isn’t the availability of content, on the contrary, there’s an abundance of scripted and original material. The problem arises when I try to find a new show or movie to watch. Discoverability is so broken, that valuable time is wasted searching for new content. Recommendations are confined to lists, which are very Web 1.0 and don’t take into account my personal taste and interests.
Enter GetGlue who have been hard at work for a few years now, trying to recommend entertainment based on what users already like and dislike. After doing a commendable job with their web and iOS apps, GetGlue brought their expertise in suggestions and check-ins to Android users.
Getting Access to the Goodies
Predictably enough, the first time you open GetGlue, it prompts you to sign in or sign up before using the app. The process of signing up is made a lot easier by integrating with Facebook.
This is not a mandatory step and you can skip the login process to start using the app. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing that. Signing in helps improve and personalize the recommendations over time, and when you aren’t on your Android device, you can open up the web app and get recommendations or train the app further. Besides, if you are into unlocking their cool badges and stickers, you will need a GetGlue account.
Accessing the Dashboard
I expected the app to offer some choices to train it straight away, instead I was shown a dashboard. From here, I could keep track of all aspects of the app – Messages, Conversations, Stream, Guides and Stickers. The names are self explanatory, but we will learn about these sections later on.
Right at the top is the colorful and unmissable Check-in button. Clicking on it brings up the menu that lets you record what kind of activity you are currently indulging in. If you select Watching TV, the app will take you to the Trending screen. From here, you are able to see which TV shows are popular right now.
When I attempted that the first time, I wasn’t informed if my check-in was logged or not but after poking around a bit, I found that you need to select a show to actually make your check in count. If you aren’t watching any of the trending shows, try searching for new shows by title or go to your profile page to check-in on a show that you’ve already added to your list of likes.
GetGlue offers social sharing options during the check-in process which is a nice feature that saves you the manual effort of letting your friends know what you are up to. There is also info about the stickers you’ve unlocked which saves you a visit to the dashboard. However, the stats in the Check-in confirmation page aren’t very useful unless you are a die-hard fan of the show.
This is the flagship feature of GetGlue. I have been using the service for over two years now and have found their recommendations to be really great. It takes some effort on the part of the user to train the app by liking and disliking movies and tv shows. However, once that’s done, the algorithm does a fabulous job of predicting content that’s relevant to your taste.
Irrespective of the platform you are using, if you are signed in, all your recommendations can be accessed on the go. Entering your preference about a show or a movie is available in the Android version of the app too. Just tap on the recommended title and click on like or dislike to record your choice.
Pressing the Details button on an item shows pertinent information about it in general and how it’s faring among other GetGlue users. The other perk of visiting the Details screen is that you can see all the items that are similar to the one you have selected, making it even easier to discover more content. I love it!
GetGlue works like a charm on Android. However, for an app of this caliber, the user interface could have been a lot better. It is usable enough, but this being a lifestyle app, one would expect a certain amount of polish and elegance.
Another issue with GetGlue is that the flow isn’t streamlined at times. Take for instance the check-in feature. From the dashboard, you’ll have to get past several screens to actually do the deed. Still, that’s acceptable because all the steps in the process could be justified. Post check-in though, there was hardly any need for me to land on the Comments page after clicking Done. The app should have taken me back to the dashboard or some recommendations based on my selection.
Nonetheless, quirks like these do not make GetGlue a sub-standard app. In fact, it’s one of the best sources to get quality entertainment recommendations online. I highly recommend that you give it a try and add some variety to your playlist!