IMDB for iPad: The Ultimate Way to Browse IMDB

I am a movie fanatic. There is not a week when I don’t watch at least one movie I haven’t seen before. Not to speak of all the TV shows I am following. While watching, I often have “geek moments” – those are times when I go “Oh, what’s that actor’s name?” or “What was the other recent movie this actress starred in?”

Before the time of iPhone and iPad, I had to move over to my Mac and fire up IMDB in Safari to check it out. With the IMDB app for iPad I can remain slouching on my couch and get all the information I desire. The comforts of the 21st century.

What is IMDB?

IMDB is the abbreviation for Internet Movie Database and it really lives up to its name. It is the source of information about pretty much everything related to movies (past, current and future) as well as TV shows and the people working on both.


For a while now this content has been available on the iPhone via a dedicated app. It’s handy but the small screen really is not suited for the wealth of information that this site has to offer. The transition to the iPad’s larger screen allows for a much better browsing experience.


iPad vs. iPhone IMDB

Where do I find what?

At first, the interface of the IMDB iPad app can be a little overwhelming. All the images and the long list of navigation options can trigger information overload. Not to worry, it’s all pretty thought through and once you know your way around, you might not want to go back to the web interface.


The Main IMDB Interface

To the left you can see all your navigation options and the content relating to your current choice is being displayed to the right. The start screen brings you the most viewed movies and actors, a statistic that updates constantly. From there, you can either browse the options given to you or search for a specific movie or person. Independently from whoever you are in the app, the little IMDB button on the bottom left will always take you back to the home screen.

Wide or tall?

A word about how you hold your iPad. As with most iPad apps, switching between landscape or portrait mode can have an influence on how the content is displayed. This holds true significantly for IMDB. Due to the fact that it relies very heavily on photos which are displayed prominently at the top of every page, written content gets pushed beneath the fold (the imaginary border beyond which content lies that you have to scroll to see).

With IMDB, changing the orientation of the device does not only change the way the content is displayed but also which content is displayed/accessible at all! For example, if you look up the information for a movie, all the actors in that movie are displayed to the left, with the movie information shown on the right. As the screenshot demonstrates, the top is taken up entirely by images. To read something about the movie, you have to scroll.


Yes, you can also watch trailers right within the app!

If you turn your iPad into portrait mode, you can not only view pretty pictures but read content immediately (not much, but at least a synopsis!). The list of actors that was shown on the left is gone though (and so will be all information that is displayed in the left pane). You can still access that information by tapping the corresponding area on the screen (and it will appear as a pop over menu), but you don’t have it available all the time.


Portrait Mode

In the end, it will be personal preferences that decide which way you’ll consume the content. I personally use the landscape mode if I just want to quickly look things up (since scrolling is fast, I don’t mind). If I actually want to read up on something, I turn my iPad into portrait mode since that doesn’t impede my reading flow as much.

TV Anyone?

Even though the name doesn’t suggest it, IMDB is a great source for TV show addicts as well. Simply browse the popular TV section or search for your favorite show and chances are you’ll find what you need (even though the information for current shows are often more detailed).


IMDB is great for TV shows too!

As with movies, you can see the cover, the lead actors and some information about the show and via the links you can pull up even more stuff, like an episode guide for example. Aired episodes are clickable and will give you even more goodies.

Finding Theaters and Showtimes

Tell IMDB where you are and it will tell you what runs in movie theaters near you! No kidding, it even works outside the US! I live in Germany and it found all the movie theaters in my city (I had no idea we had that many!) and told me what was playing there. You can either let IMDB determine your location or set a specific zip code in the settings.


Theaters and Showtimes


My opinion about this app can be summarized like this: You can’t go wrong with it! Not just because it’s free, but because it will enrich your iPad experience. Just leave your computer off while you enjoy a movie or show and take advantage of the Apple device the way it was meant to. Granted, IMDB has a quirk here and there with its handling of different device orientations, but it’s very useful for movie enthusiasts and pretty on the eyes. Indulge yourself with some leisurely browsing and who knows, you might come to have a geek moment too when you learn something new about a favorite actor or show.


In summary, IMDB for iPad is an amazing free app that is sure to be your new favorite way to consume information related to your favorite movies and shows.

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the IMDB iPad app and how it stacks up to the experience of the iPhone app and the website.


The iPad version of IMDB is the best yet. It has an awesome interface combined with a powerful feature set that together make for an amazing experience on the large iPad screen.