Flixster Extends UltraViolet’s Reach with Android, iOS Updates

Nov 16, 2011 by

Thanks go to reader and Entertainment 2.0 listener Ken, who pointed out that Flixster released some updates this past week to let you download and subsequently view your UltraViolet movies offline. When we first reviewed UltraViolet a few weeks back, you could only stream UltraViolet movies on iOS and Android devices in Flixster’s Movies app. The folks at Flixster appear to have rushed out some updates that now let you also download movies so you can watch them when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. We say “rushed” because in our initial testing, the iOS updates appear a bit buggy and unrefined, but at least you’ll be able to watch your UltraViolet movies in planes, trains, and automobiles while traveling home this Thanksgiving weekend—as long as you remember to download the movies in the app first.

We briefly tested the updated Movies app on the iPad. The most obvious addition is a new Download button on movies in your collection. Movie downloads occur very quickly, with a full movie download taking less than ten minutes over Wi-Fi.

The Download button becomes an almost indistinguishable Downloaded button once the title is stored on your device.

When the download completes, the Download button becomes a Downloaded button, but on the Movie Collection page, there’s no indication whatsoever which of your movies are available for offline viewing. You must check each movie individually to see if it’s downloaded. Additionally, the app seems to have problems counting the number of movies actually in your collection.

How can you tell which movies are available offline? You can't.

Tapping the Downloaded button does show you all of the downloaded movies, and you can jump to any of them from there. What it doesn’t do is give you a way of deleting downloaded movies to free up space, so once you’ve downloaded a title, we have to assume it’s on the device until you uninstall the application, or until they release an update that allows you to delete individual titles—whichever comes first. Since downloads in these apps count toward your download allotment for a given tile, this is critical functionality that needs to be added.

What's missing here? How about an Edit button to let you remove downloaded titles from your device?

Flixter’s updated Movies app lets you download movies on iPhones (3G, 4, and 4S), iPods (3rd and 4th gen), and iPads running iOS 4.0 or later. For Android, you must be running Gingerbread (3.2) on your Android phone. Android tablets are not yet supported, but Flixster’s Android update extends support to Google TV, offering the first 10-foot viewing experience for consumers’ UltraViolet digital collections. These were the easy hits—now hopefully we’ll see support for Windows Phone, Roku, Media Center, and other devices follow.

Get the updated Android app in the Android Market.

Get the updated iOS app in the iTunes App Store.

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