If you’re anything like me, you’re very big on simplicity. When I’m using a product, I want it to be simple, polished and easy to use (one of main reasons why I came back to the iPhone after a brief stint with Android). However, I find the market for movie apps to be anything but.
The two major movie apps, Fandango and Flixster, are packed full of features which may be useful to some, but don’t make it easy to simply find a movie I want to see in a nearby theater. You can also find movie times via the IMDb and the iTunes Movie Trailers app, but that’s not really their main function.
If share this point of view as well, join us after the jump to find out why Wigglehop may be just the app to use for your next movie going experience.
The Purpose of Wigglehop
Before I get into the ins and outs of Wigglehop, it’s important to point out Plastic Trophy’s intentions. Wigglehop is not supposed to be an app to buy movie tickets, check for all newly released movies or read reviews. Simply put, Wigglehop’s intent is to create a custom movie listing that you can share with fellow moviegoers. However, there are quite a few handy features as well.
Making Your Moviegoing Plans
When you fire up the app for the first time, you’re greeted with a splash screen that will eventually direct you to the first of four pages — Theaters, Movies, Times and Plans. Wigglehop works in a series of steps, and if you don’t follow them as intended (e.g. jumping to the movies page before selecting a theater) you’ll be directed back to the correct page to select the necessary item.
Before selecting a theater, you’ll need to enter a city or zip code in the search box, or simply click the arrow icon to have it automatically find your current location. A list of nearby theaters will populate, sorted from closest to furthest. A main UI element featured on the list, and subsequent lists, is the need to tap on a option to see more detailed information. It’s a design choice that I have mixed emotions about, but most likely will either be something you love or loathe.
When you tap on a theater choice, the distance of the theater from your current location (if you’ve given the app the necessary permissions) and number of movies currently playing are listed. If you’re in an area you’re not familiar with and need directions to the theater, you can tap on the map icon located next to the theater info and tap the Directions button at the top of the screen.
If you live in an area with a lot of theaters and want a variety of movie and showtime options, you can tap on as many theaters as you like before moving of to the next step. Once you’ve selected your desired theater options, you can tap the Admit ticket icon on a selected theater or simply swipe the page to the left.
Now that you’ve have your theater (or theaters) selected, your next step is to select a movie you’d like to see. By default, Wigglehop will only list the movies showing on the current date; however, you can jump ahead to the following day (or two additional days) if you’re planning ahead. It’s certainly a nice option, but a range of four days is a bit lacking in comparison to Fandango (twelve days) Flixster (six days).
Similar to the Theaters page, you’ll need to tap on a movie to see more information. Upon doing so, a short summary of the movie, its rating and running time, will be displayed next to the movie’s poster. In most cases, a little play button icon will be located in the top left corner of the poster, which indicates that you can view the movie’s trailer by tapping on the poster. When you’ve selected your desired movie (or movies), again swipe the page to the left to move on to the next stage (or tap the Picture Start icon).
The Times page lists the showtimes for all selected movies, sorted from earliest to latest. If you know what time of day you’d like to see the movie (i.e. day, evening or night), you can turn off any of the options at the top of the page that you don’t need. A really handy feature of the page that I would like to see implemented in other apps of this type, is that you will only be shown movie times that you have the ability to attend (e.g. if it’s 3 p.m. you won’t see any showtimes from earlier in the day).
As with the previous pages, the show times are displayed in a simplistic list (time and movie). If you selected more than one theater option, you need to tap on a time listing to see the corresponding theater. I understand that the interface design needs to be consistent, but it would be nice to have an option to sort the lists by theater. When you have your showtime selected, swipe to the left one last time (or tap the Plan icon).
Now that you know which theater you’re going to, which movie you’re going to see and what showtime you’re going to see it at, you need to share this information with your moviegoing participants. Wigglehop allows you to do just that in four different ways — Facebook, Twitter, email or text message (SMS).
Using any of the four options will open a subsequent page that generates a standard message, which includes a link to view your custom listing. You can enter additional text that will display on the original message, but won’t on the custom listing.
Wigglehop is either going to be an app that you will or will not use. On one hand, the navigation is dead simple and the overall design is stunning. The advertisement banners at the top of the page may get a lot of screen real estate, but it’s much more preferable to the random ads that pop-up in other movie apps. But on the other hand, there may be few too many features missing for your taste.
I was a big fan of Flixster for the longest time and then I jumped to Fandango after Flixster became overstuffed with features. Eventually, I dropped them both in favor of reducing the number of movie apps on my phone and decided IMDb’s showtime listings was enough to tide me over. But after using Wigglehop for past few days, I’m willing to make some room on my iPhone for a tool that’s so incredibly simple and enjoyable to use.
A dead simple app that makes it easy to find the movies you want to see and share your plans with others.8
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