Developer: Penske Media Corporation
Price: free Download on the App Store
Variety one of the leading entertainment industry publications has gone a step beyond mobile. They’ve created an iPhone app. The publication that reports on who’s who and what’s going on in the world of film, television and music according to Hollywood has an iPhone application that supposed to do it all.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Variety app is the design. It has a smooth grey and red interface with the iconic Variety logo that appears at the top. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to see stories with one major exception. The advertising banners often obstruct the content view.
Maneuvering through the Variety app isn’t difficult, however, it should have been done in a much smoother way taking advantage of the phones features. For instance, to read a story you must tap the right arrow to read the rest of the entry. While you’ve finished reading the "micro blog,” tap the arrows at the top to move on to the next story or back to the previous one. This function seems a little superfluous since one of the nicest features of the iPhone is that you may swipe up and down, left or right while reading information.
Being familiar with Variety and finding only 9 short micro blogs to read made me feel that something was missing. A quick trip over to the Variety website confirmed my suspicions.
The Variety iPhone app is a little buggy. In the movie review section half of the videos listed (2 out of 4) said “File Format Not Supported” But, the videos that did play in this area had sharp video and crisp clear sound. The photo section is poorly organized and the annoying Variety widget banner obstructs the view of the event photos.
The photos also don’t appear to be built into Variety. Instead, it appears that you’re taken to a miniaturized photo gallery page from the web version of the site. In order to see a close up of the picture you have to pinch the screen. However, you won’t get a clear view of the picture because of the banner tapping it doesn’t get your photo to fit to screen either. The same thing will happen if you open the Review section of Variety. Tapping doesn’t get it to fit to screen and you’ll still have to deal with that pesky banner.
Overall, the Variety iPhone app is poorly done. Industry professionals that want Variety on the go are better off visiting mobile.Variety.com from their handset browsers. You’ll find fewer obstructions and all the information you’re interested in from the site will be at the tip of your fingers. You may need Wi-Fi for certain functions but for the most part you’ll be able to tap stories and read the full version fit to your handset screen.