Stay Entertained With Cartoon Network

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved Cartoon Network. It’s been on cable television since early 1992 and still airs some of the best animated series around. Plus, their sister network Boomerang airs all the nostalgic classics from the days of Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Recently, I had a chance to play around in their mobile app for the iPhone and iPad. It hosts plenty of useful features that any fan of Cartoon Network would enjoy. Along with typical schedules and show listings, you can also log into your cable network account through CN, then stream cartoon shows right on your device. Let’s find out more about this truly amazing piece of mobile software that combines the Internet with traditional cable television after the jump.

Getting Started

On first launch, you’ll notice a typical tab-style navigation bar. This features five views with the default Home display using some image sliders. You can check out popular TV show profiles and even view recent clips from the archive.

I really love this initial screen if only for the incredible user interface. It’s insanely easy to navigate and flick through each of the popular show listings.

Splash Image & Home View

Splash Image & Home View

If you tap on a banner or move onto the next tab you’ll be given a list of CN shows. This includes new titles such as Gumball, along with older classics like Johnny Bravo or Dexter’s Laboratory. To get more information, tap on a show listing title. You can stream any available video clips or access full episodes if you’re logged into the network.

Full TV Episodes

I have yet to see such an application that features a full listing of TV shows. It does take a bit of work to get yourself logged into an account, but if you already use cable or Dish for TV then streaming content on your mobile device is always a secondary option.

Additional app links

Additional app links

To gain access, tap on the More tab all the way on the right side. At the bottom of this list is a Log In link to access your account. Based on your cable provider, you will be redirected to a company login page. This will vary from the many options such as Comcast, Charter, Verizon and others.

Login form with Verizon cable provider

Login form with Verizon cable provider

If you are unsure of your account credentials you may need to contact the cable company directly. This process does seem a bit messy and requires access to multiple third parties, but Cartoon Network has made it work and I’m thoroughly impressed.

Video Clips

If you don’t want to bother with full TV episodes, you can still check out the clips for free. Each TV show is generally accompanied by a few various clips which Cartoon Network switches every so often. Some of the older TV series like Pokemon even feature dozens of clips to choose from.

The app has a custom built-in video UI for streaming that matches Cartoon Network’s own design. When viewing program clips, you’ll likely be gifted with plenty of video ads before any of the streams will load. There isn’t any way to skip them and they can be annoying to a degree, but Cartoon Network has to make money somehow.

Streaming Dexter's Laboratory clip

Streaming Dexter's Laboratory clip

For what it’s worth, many of the ads are focused around merchandise related to their target audience. Even 30-second ad clips for Lego are much nicer than the alternative car or beauty product.

Checking the Schedule

One tab over from the last More link will display a schedule of all upcoming shows. The app does an excellent job of locating your current time zone and adjusting your TV schedule accordingly.

Not only does the listing display TV show names, but it also includes which specific episodes will be airing. This extra detail feels like a staple for any TV show scheduler, though you would be surprised at how many other apps are lacking. By swiping over to the right you can shift days and check out Cartoon Network’s schedule for later in the week.

Daily TV programming schedule

Daily TV programming schedule

Unfortunately, you are limited just a bit for upcoming time frames. The scheduler will only load shows airing from 6 AM until 7 or 8 PM for future dates. Definitely not a huge deal, but there is room to suggest a full 24-hour listing.

Possible Improvements

It seems the majority of Cartoon Network’s focus is around streaming video content. This does make sense, as it is the vital component to the media network’s success. But it would be nice to have access to some of their web games or related features transposed into iOS. For example, I love this Adventure Time storyboard app which is also a free download published by Cartoon Network.

As an additional thought, I feel that each TV show page focuses solely around scheduling and video streams. The app could include unique screenshots from each program and create a really nice gallery showcase. Or, put together a collection of trivia or mind games for users.

It just seems that video content is a limiting factor with mobile users. On an iPad you can get away with longer battery life and most likely a sustained Internet connection, but iPhone and iPod Touch users may rather save their battery and play around with trivia or puzzles. Even some extra details and FAQs on each cartoon would go a long way.


I certainly can’t complain about any of the wonderful features in Cartoon Network’s official app. It’s wonderful for streaming your favorite TV shows and checking the network schedule. It’s also a fun way of keeping up with Cartoon Network as they update and release new programming. There is room for additional content, but any television fanatics will love this iOS application.


Watch Cartoon Network shows anywhere with this handy iOS app. You can check the daily program schedule and even stream clips from your favorite classic cartoons.