My most common problem with apps based on Websites is that they’re not much of an improvement over viewing the site in your mobile Web browser–and in certain cases, they’re actually worse. Luckily, IMDb (Internet Movie Database) avoids those pitfalls and stands out as an exemplary model for what this type of app should look like.
The IMDb app is divided into Movies, Television, and People sections. The top portion of the screen fills with images of the most-viewed IMDb content, which you can browse through by scrolling horizontally. Below that, the material available varies from category to category. In the Movies section, it includes links to showtimes in the United States, box-office results, the top 250 movies, the bottom 100 films, popular movies by genre, and other topics. The Television section lists recaps, as well as what programming is on tonight. In the People section you can see a list of Hollywood stars that have a birthday today.
Clicking on a movie or TV show brings up the same sort of information you expect to see on IMDb, such as trailers, ratings, the release date, a plot summary, the cast, and other details like trivia and quotes. Clicking on a person’s profile produces a bio and filmography for the individual.
The formatting of IMDb is attractive, and it is easy to browse and read. Browsing is fast and responsive. The IMDb app also has links to the host Website, as well as to Amazon for DVD or Blu-ray purchases. If you’re a non-U.S. user, you can readjust the Website URLs in the settings so that it takes you to the mirror site for your country. My only wish for IMDb is to have the ability to access a search bar at the top or bottom of the screen, instead of being forced to go to the menu to run a search.