App Review: Fandango Movies

January 20, 2010
166

Arriving late to the party, the official Fandango Movies app has finally made its way to the Android Market and joins Apple, RIM and Palm, which have been enjoying it for some time.  Fandango Movies app provides a mobile Fandango experience with everything you’d expect including the ability to stream movie trailers, check local movie times, and review movie details and ratings.  However, the greatest feature is the ability to purchase tickets directly from your phone, something that no other movie app currently offers.  Hit the jump for a more in depth look and a gallery showing off its interface.

If you are familiar with Fandango, or any other online theater service for that matter, you will know exactly what to expect with Fandango’s Android app.  While it delivers on common conveniences expected by all, it fails in numerous areas including a weak review system, presentation, formatting and an overall underwhelming experience.

Fandango Movies interface, notice the tiny buttons

For being an optimized mobile version of Fandango, the app runs too slowly.  Personally, I’ve encountered numerous times when, even connected to WiFi, the app would not load information, forcing a force close and re-open to get it to act correctly.  Also, when changing tabs from “In The Spotlight” to “Near Me”, there was sometimes a long pause or even the same force close error.  The app would also completely refresh while browsing movies and get stuck for 30 seconds at a time.  It gets so bad that there is even a loading circle and 1-2 second pause just by going from landscape to portrait and vice-versa.  Another major problem are formatting errors.  Examples include no spaces after a colon and even overlapping letters in some instances, and for a professionally produced application there is no excuse.  Related to formatting and also a downfall are the size of the buttons.  They are too small for a mobile app, and can be difficult to accurately hit.  Of course if I really try it isn’t a big deal but if walking down the street or doing something while trying to browse movies, it can be difficult to get to the content you want and it hampers overall navigation.

Movie Showtimes on Fandango Movies

The review system in the app is also weak, basically resorting to user written reviews displaying such grace as “this movie sux” and “i thought it was gr8!”.  They should have taken a page from Flixter on this one and integrated the Rotten Tomato system giving users professional reviews from top notch critics all over the world.  A lot of people follow reviews from certain critics who share the same tastes, Rotten Tomatoes allows you to do this while reading user reviews from random people just doesn’t.

The app isn’t without its positives and the one gleaming ray of hope is that it allows you to purchase movie tickets directly from your phone.  No other movie theater app does this, and on top of purchasing, they also wave the service fees for Android users, a great feature to include.  Another good feature is the quickness in which the viewable movie trailers load, and they are optimized and presented decent quality on your device.

Puchase movie tickets directly from your phone!

In summary, Fandango Movies for the Android marketplace offers a ho-hum effort from a movie ticketing giant and it is sad to see such poor implementation on key features such as reviews, formatting and ease of use.  If you absolutely can’t live without the ability to purchase tickets from your phone then by all means get this app, otherwise Movies by Flixter is a much better choice and offers a better overall experience.  Fandango Movies is available for free from the Android marketplace.

QR Code - Fandango Movies

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