Developer: Crackle, Inc.
Rating: Ages 17 and up
Requirements: iPad with iOS 4.2 or later
- Feature-length movies
- Selected TV Shows
- No subscription cost
- Save movies and TV shows to your queue to watch later
Very few apps are as easy to name a "must-have" as Crackle. In fact, if all it did was provide free movies and TV shows with no subscription costs, it'd make the must-have iPad apps list. But Crackle manages to put this together in an intuitive interface that makes it easy to browse for some entertainment.
Owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, you will mainly see movies and TV programs that Sony has the rights to show. This makes Crackle somewhat limited when compared to Netflix or Hulu Plus, but considering both of those apps require $7.99 a month in subscription costs, it's easy to put Crackle ahead of the competition.
Crackle's interface resembles the Hulu Plus interface in that sections are broken down by Featured, Movies, Shows and the ability to search through the collection. It even has the same split-screen that puts the featured movies highlighted at the top while the bigger list of titles dominates the bottom of the screen. The interface is quick, so you won't be slowed down by poster art loading, and clicking on a title not only starts the show, but gives you a synopsis of it.
One of the few areas that needs improvement is the default windowed style of playback. As mentioned above, tapping a show's poster art takes you to a screen where the video plays with a description of the show below the playback. Like most iPad videos, you can take it full screen by touching the video and using the on-screen controls that appear at the bottom of the video. But for those new to the iPad, this might not be readily apparent, which could lead to some confusion.
But that is a very minor complaint compared to an app that is overall solid both in its interface, which is definitely slick, and its deliverables, which consists of free movies and TV shows, so what's not to love?