The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) hitched itself to the iOS bandwagon very early on and has had a very successful free app on the App Store for a long time now. It also released a quiz app based on movie trivia late last month, and has now launched IMDb Buzz, pitching it as the ultimate destination for getting your fix of entertainment news while on the go.
IMDb Buzz is a stripped down version of the full-fledged IMDb app, with a few news-specific features thrown in for good measure. To start with, there’s the Buzz tab, which lists all the news stories as they break, and you can tap on any of them to be taken to the detail view. On the details screen, you can see a rather lengthy excerpt from the beginning of the story and the option to get the full scoop on the source publication’s website.
The Follow button at the top of the story lets you follow the news source, celebrities or movies and TV shows associated with it and the Share button allows you to share it via email, text message, Twitter or Facebook. As with the full IMDb app, the app is deeply nested, with the ‘related’ section at the bottom allowing you to navigate to the profiles of people, movies and TV shows associated with a news story.
The profiles of celebrities contain important dates, photos, what they are known for and, of course, the news associated with them. A button at the bottom lets you jump seamlessly to the main IMDb app for a more fuller profile. The same is true for profiles of movies and TV shows as well.
Things that you follow show up in the Following section of the app, with the most recent news story displayed along with it. It’s like a shortcut to quickly jump to the profiles you most frequently visit. However, in our opinion, this view could have been put to better use by collating all the news about the stuff you are following and displaying them in a list. It is tedious to go in and out of the various profiles to catch up on the latest happenings.
Other features of the app include a very comprehensive as-you-type search field, which has IMDb’s massive database at its disposal and works screamingly fast. The app also shows you the top celebrities, movies and TV shows that are currently being talked about most and a list of the celebrities who were born on the current day.
It is also very handsomely designed, with an understated look that gives the stage to the content and fades into the background. If there’s one point of criticism I can make, it’s the yellow IMDb badge that the company stamps all its apps’ icons with. It looks out of place and forced on the otherwise well-designed icon and makes me want to stuff the app out of view inside a folder.
All things considered, however, IMDb Buzz is a useful app for those among us who like to keep up with the latest gossip in the world of entertainment and is a great companion to movie and TV fans. That it’s free and does not contain ads is the icing on top of a pretty tasty cake.
[IMDb Buzz is available on the App Store for free and is compatible with all iPhones running iOS 4.2 or later. It is not a universal app.]