It is unfortunate that more iPhone applications that you can
get from the official App Store are not based around content instead of
advertising, but this is not really the case. The development of an iPhone application, especially among
free iPhone applications, is often a basic part of a large corporate
strategy. The proliferation of
this is largely because of the control and pro-corporate leanings that Apple
has held through their control of iTunes, and now the most involved free iPhone
applications available have this marketing edge to them. This does not mean that many of them
are both useful and engaging, especially if you are a customer to begin
with. Now with the HBO free iPhone
application we get an application that is just jam-packed with promotional
material, all of which depends on your existing relationship with HBO. That being said, for those that are
already tied into the complex web of pay cable they will find that the HBO free
iPhone application may be a great download.
The HBO iPhone application essentially brings what HBO
houses on their website to the iPhone.
This is still a limited interpretation of what is found on HBO‚Äôs
website, but it includes many of the features that iPhone users would actually
want to take with them constantly.
The HBO iPhone application is really broken up into two
different services: free videos and show information and then HBO scheduling
and information. Right from the
start you will turn your iPhone into the horizontal mode to mimic the widescreen
nature of HBO programming. From
the far left button, simply labeled HBO, you will have listed a few upcoming
events for HBO. These can be the
release of a new HBO Sports documentary or the premiere episode of a new
To really get into each different HBO show you will select
Programs, the next button over. Here you will be able to select a number of
different options such as Series, Sports, Documentaries, Comedy, and
Movies. When you are in Series you
are going to be able to select from a sliding panel of different programs,
ranging from Larry David‚Äôs glaring lack of humility to shades and mullets in
Eastbound and Down. Each program
will have a profile where you can get info on what it is generally about, a
complete Episode guide, videos and other details that you may or may not find
The videos area is
where they could really make the HBO section interesting, but since they make
so much money selling digital copies of their programs on iTunes‚Äô you could not
expect to actually watch any full episodes. Instead it is just previews and interviews. These can be interesting in their own
right, but do not expect to spend too much time with them. The same type of details are true for
their other Program listings, especially for their featured new movies and HBO
funded documentary projects.
Next over is going to be the Schedule section, and it works
just like you would imagine. You
can get other TV guide iPhone applications, but this is really going to be the
most accurate for HBO specifically.
This is especially true since you can check out what On Demand and HD
content is available. They remain
fairly accurate, especially since the HBO iPhone application updates on an
almost constant basis.
The HBO iPhone application is by no means stellar, but for
people that cannot get enough of Entourage and Big Love it may be a nice
addition. Most of it is the kind
of fluff that will become uninteresting within a few visits, but you may want
to check it out anyway.
of five stars.