Pay for Free
There is a basic assumption that happens with pay iPhone applications. These expectations are usually based on the fact that there are so many applications offered for free that those that charge need to bring something more. What comes with these applications is that there will be both substantial and original content and that the main revenue source for the developer will just be from the cost of the application. If the iPhone application both costs and then is used as a way to advertise other costly products then users feel as though they have just been gouged. The new Family Guy iPhone application, subtitled the Freakin‚Äö√Ñ√¥ Sweet App, both costs a modest $2.99 and really just acts as a way to create synergistic promotion with the store and the sale of episodes on iTunes. There is almost no original Family Guy content that warrants its purchase and after buying it you begin to wonder what you really paid for.
Family Guy Video Clips
The Family Guy iPhone application is essentially a way to watch short Family Guy video clips. This is not a bad feature what so ever and you get a few different options for doing this. You can search through several pages of video clips that are added daily, check out little clip ‚Äö√Ñ√∫mixes‚Äö√Ñ√π that bring together little Family Guy moments, and even create mixes of your own so you can pretend anyone cares what you think is funny. The main issue here is that each video clip is too short and has an advertisement at the end for the Family Guy presence in iTunes. It seems ripe for Fox Mobile Entertainment to push one of its flagships, but shouldn‚Äö√Ñ√¥t we get a little bit of a pardon since we already dropped a couple dollars? Again, in the More tab you get direct connections to purchasing episodes of Family Guy. This alone would not be that much of an issue if we did not feel as though we had already be slapped with the ad glove on every video we watch.
There are also a couple of really awkward games like Peter Toss where you take Peter Griffin in a pose of Faustian calamity and toss him around. Why? I don‚Äö√Ñ√¥t know. These almost take away from the Family Guy iPhone application as it feels like a way to cushion the blow once we realize we just paid for advertisements.
To top this off the videos tend to have bad resolution, especially if you are using the 3G network instead of Wi-Fi. Though some users likely use Wi-Fi on a regular basis with their iPhone, the times in which it seems good to watch brief Family Guy video clips are times when I am on the go and do not exactly have the password to connect to the nearest Wi-Fi location. This is likely to improve and is noticeably better on the iPhone 4 than the iPhone 3Gs, but right now is still an issue for a large section of the iPopulation. Verizon users may again have better luck, and when we see the fabled LTE network come to fruition this may be eliminated, but it still is more dramatic than it should be when compared against other streaming video apps.
Go to YouTube Instead
I cannot exactly way what I would have wanted in the Family Guy iPhone application except just more in general. This could have been almost anything seeing as just a bunch of more pushed content would have at least justified the purchase. Games, wallpapers, more clips, would all have helped. The choice really has to be between creating a stand-alone entertainment application that warrants its price or giving us brief commercial amusement for free. Family Guy has been doing the latter for a while, so it seems a little weird that they charge us for it now. The app has been around for a while now and is in its second version, and seems like it will be kept up with as a standard official app for the show. This seems fine if you are patently obsessed with Family Guy, but unless its platform changes it is not really going to stand out to a great degree. Especially when you can get full episodes of Family Guy on your iPhone with Netflix and Hulu Plus.