Now Playing Falls Short -- get "Movies" instead


"Now Playing", formerly known as "Box Office" is a bad version of "Movies", the app we reviewed earlier today by Jeff Grossman.

Unlike Movies, the interface is un-inspiring and cluttered. The app does not even make use of the iPhone GPS; you are required to enter you zip code, old school. Forget favorites, search or other goodies -- this is a bare bones app, which needs a lot of work.

In the world of free apps, there is no real reason to download the second or third choice in a category. Unfortunately, "Now Playing" simply can't compete.

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  • Rick DeNatale


    "Now Playing" has always used the GPS, even when it was still box office.

    Go to settings, the standard iPhone icon for location services is at the top left corner, and there's an option to automatically update the location.

    Also, no search? Again, it's called settings instead of seach, and it gives the option of setting the search radius from 1 to 50 miles.

    In my case some movies in my area show up on "Now Playing" which don't on "Movies", presumably because they are showing outside of it's search area.

    It also allows listing movies arranged by title, review rating, and release date, something I don't see in "Movies".

    I don't see anything in either app about favorites.

    The one thing I see in Movies that doesn't seem to be in "Now Playing" is information about upcoming releases.

    So to each his own, but I find "Now Playing" the better app on the whole.

  • pruppert

    While, I have not tried the Movies app (though probably will now), I have been extremely pleased with this app. You're incorrect on this app's use of GPS. Go to settings and there is a option to auto-update location. Turn this on and the app will use the iPhone's GPS to update your location whenever you open the app. Also, from your description of the Movies app, it sounds as if searching for movies is much more intuitive in Now Playing. The movies tab gives you an alphabetical listing of all the movies that are playing within a user defined radius of his/her location (eg., 5 miles, 10 miles, etc.). You can also select to have movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic displayed. Overall, I have been very pleased with Box Office (Now Playing).

  • pruppert

    I would also add that my favorite feature of Now Playing is the ability to view movie trailers right within the app. It is a very useful feature. Not sure if Movies has that or not.

  • Fred Krueger

    "movies" also has trailers. Thanks for pointing out the gps feature although it is very unintuitive. Overall, I still think the flixster app has by far the best UI

  • Paul Reny

    Now playing has got to be one of my favorite apps for my iPhone.

    it has gps, trailers, sorting by rotten tomatoes / metacritic reviews, release date, or title, Rating and length clearly displayed, as well as reviews. Not to mention the awesome ability to purchase tickets at a specific showtime from the Now Playing app itself. It takes your straight to the fandango mobile site with the movie selection, time, and location all filled out, all you have to do is select the number of tickets and put in your payment info / fandango account.

    I think Now Playing merits another look, perhaps you'll notice something you missed the first time!

  • ihateallex

    I like Showtimes. I think its the best movie app out there.

  • Fred Krueger

    I agree with "ihatealex" that Showtimes is a solid choice. The UI isn't as polished as movies, but it does do the job.

  • bigsnax

    it is a solid app... your review was put together too quick... I will never trust this site for review ;)

  • mike

    What about OneTap Movies? I like it best.