TV listings magazine Radio Times has recently introduced an iPhone app, which gives users access to listings for all the major TV, satellite and cable channels.
Designed by tvCompass, the Radio Times app (currently £1.79 in the App Store) is a pretty neat piece of work, providing excellent user experience and some useful extra features. In fact, it’s much easier to use than the main website.
You can start off by customising your channel selection, according to your region of the UK, and whether you have freeview, Sky, Virgin Media etc, then presents the listing for all the channels you can access.
You can easily and smoothly scroll up and down the list of channels using the touch screen, which, for me, is actually much quicker than using the often painfully slow EPG on my Virgin Media remote. The channels are also laid out in the same order as they appear on Virgin Media, which makes it that much easier to check.
The app works intuitively, so scrolling up and down will go through the list of channels, pressing the arrows at the bottom will move the schedule forwards or backwards by an hour, and clicking on any programme will give you the details:
You can also use the tool at the top of the page to jump to view TV listings for up to a week in advance:
Or you can scroll through the listings for your highlighted channel; this will give you the programmes for a week as well for you to scroll up and down:
The menu at the bottom is well utilised too; I can see the Radio Times’ picks for the day ahead, see only films, or select ‘more’ and choose to see other categories, or even customise this and add my own, if I want to view only documentaries for instance.
The ‘My shows’ option lets you bookmark your favourite programmes so you can quickly see when they are next on TV:
Another added extra is the search function, which lets you search from any programme’s summary for related content on YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia, iPlayer, and iTunes, so you can find clips, buy DVDs etc:
The only thing it doesn’t do, which you can on the main Radio Times website, is to search by individual programme title, but this is one of the few faults I can pick with the app.
It’s an excellent app with an excellent and intuitive user experience, and plenty of useful information and added extras like the YouTube search function. Even better than that, the speed of it will save me many wasted hours waiting for the on screen EPG to load up, or move to the next channel.