I have to admit, I haven’t paid much attention to TV listings since I started using a DVR about 5 years ago. But if you’re the sort of person who likes to know what’s on TV at a specific time, TV Guide has launched an official Android app. It provides listings for most US TV markets, broken down by broadcast, satellite, and cable providers.
The TV Guide app doesn’t just provide you with a program listing grid. You can also search for shows, add channels or specific programs to a favorites list, and read the latest news from TV Guide.
Overall the app performs much as I would expect, but I do have a few minor complaints. First, the app only draws down a little bit of data at a time. When you load the app, it will download just enough information to let you know what’s on TV right now and in the next few hours. If you want to scroll more than a few hours into the future, you’ll have to wait for the app to download more data — making it kind of useless if and when you’re somewhere without internet access.
Second, the app is ad-supported, which isn’t really a problem. What is a problem is how much space the ads take up at the top of the screen, making the app almost useless in landscape mode… unless you like only being able to see four channels at a time.
Finally, the user interface is a little funny. Pressing the back button on your Android phone will always prompt you to leave the app instead of simply returning to the previous screen as I’ve come to expect from other Android programs. In order to close out of a screen, the TV Guide app typically requires you to click an X. It’s not awful, but it does take a little getting used to.
That said, the TV Guide app for Android is free, and it does pretty much what you’d expect it to do by making it easy to search or browse for TV program schedules.
TV Guide for Android is available as a free download from the Android Market. The app was developed in partnership with Roundbox, so if you’re manually looking for it in the Market, make sure to grab the TV Guide app from Roundbox (there are a few others). Or you can scan the link to the right with your phone to go directly to the download page.