How to Find Something Good to Watch on Apple TV

Find Movies Fast With These Three Apps

Celluloid
Celluloid

Apple is working to create a fantastic programming guide for Apple TV, but this isn’t available just yet. I took a look at three currently available Apple TV apps that are designed to help you find good things to watch.

It is important to understand why solutions like this make sense. You see, some researchers claim we already spend 4.9 days each year looking for something to watch on our TV. This can only get to be a greater challenge as more apps and more channels appear, if the future of TV is apps, does it mean we have to spend even more time looking for good things to watch?

Here we take a glance at three apps that may help you find better movies faster: Celluloid, Gyde, and Stories.

Celluloid

Celluloid helps you find movies you want to see. It provides you with access to trailers for those movies you may already have access to through any of the TV services you subscribe to on your Apple TV. You simply pick a genre and the app will stream movie trailers for you non-stop until one catches your imagination (you can pause, rewind and flick forward manually if you wish. It will work with Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, iTunes and other streaming services. The app gathers information about what you watch in order to recommend new titles for you, and lets you select your film from whichever services make it available to you. It’s an intelligent service that manages to surface some good recommendations, but it is limited in the sense that it sometimes fails to distinguish availability of titles outside of US services when dealing with non-Apple services.

I imagine this improves with the next tvOS release.  More about Celluloid.

Gyde

Developed in Australia, Gyde is another attempt to put together an integrated front end on top of the services you already subscribe to.  The Apple TV app works with another app on your iPhone. You use this to select movies you think might be interesting which you then add to your Watch List.

The app will also track films you’ve already seen. Once you’ve added movies to this list you’ll be provided with an automatic notification once the film is made available on one or more of your streaming services (or iTunes). The app will also recommend new titles by mood or genre. Glyde is built for sharing, so when a family of iPhone users each with their own Watch lists get together the results you are provided with will be an amalgamation of all their preferences. More about Gyde.

Stories

I like the Stories user interface because it’s visually pleasing and quite simple to navigate through. The app is compatible with an iOS iPhone/iPad app and lets you assemble titles into a Watchlist, from which you can monitor if a film you’ve said you want to watch has become available through your chosen streaming service. Stories assembles all the movies from all available sources into a series of useful categories, including newly added titles, most popular and trending titles. More interestingly, the app also provides some more esoteric lists such as “Dystopian Weirdness”, or “Visual Masterpieces”, which helps you find more interesting material to watch. Once again, the problem is inconsistent availability, not every title is available in every territory.

All the same, the app design means digging through movie suggestions is kind of fun. More about Stories.

Summing up

To be fair this is an industry that’s inventing itself. We’ve always had program guides but these reflected linear programming, rather than today’s celestial jukebox of content. Developers within this space aren’t just required to create great user interfaces and accurate apps, but must also deal with complexities. These complexities include things like territorial content licensing and availability and the rapidly proliferating range of different sources Apple TV users need apps like these to watch.

There are pros and cons to all three services at present, but between them, they clearly show the way to a more community based sharing culture in which anything should be available to anyone, anywhere and at any time.