Recently I went to the cinema and noticed Cineworld had updated their app, so I decided to take it for a spin and see what it was like. For the UK, the Android app is the best looking compared with the other major cinemas, but I’m going to take right apart.
The first screen you see in the app is this screen which shows which films are available across all of Cineworld. While this is okay, it isn’t very good at all. First of all, the major difference on mobile is Cineworld have permission to know where I am, so they could easily find the films playing where I am first of all. However, I like the use of the Action Bar tabs, but the use of a Spinner is not very well executed. Using this seems to just destroy the navigational flow of the application as you can’t press back without exiting the app (even though it animates like a new task). Also on the lists with headers, the headers do not stick very well and the effect is easily created without much effort at all.
This poses a new problem which is apparent on the system, take if I want to see “Rise of the Guardians” the app provides two, “2D Rise of The Guardians and “3D Rise of the Guardians” when they are the same film and should be group like they are on the desktop website.
The cinema view allows you to select a cinema, which has the Cineworld logo as the favourite icon, which while is good branding is not very helpful here, I would just like for them to stick with the proper Android icons.
The per-cinema view is interesting as it tries to follow the Holo guidelines, but fails. Again we see this spinner at the top, which we don’t need at all and could be replaced with the location. But even worse is two “help/information” icons and it is quite annoying to have 2 of them there. Then we get a nice Tab interface, but is spoilt by ugly buttons on the side. I don’t understand why or even who though this looked good at all!
Also, the content is displayed quite well, but there are some issues for example I actually can’t see a showing at 11:00am when it has past that time already! UI-wise I don’t understand the reason behind making the rating icons so small! I can barely read them! I know it’s law, but please just make custom versions that work well on mobile (no excessive padding on shapes) and just make them like one of the showing labels, but in the right colour, at least then I could know what rating the film was!
The “my Cineworld” banner is annoying, because it actually doesn’t do anything. It would be great to make this do something like allow me to login to my Cineworld, more on this later.
Ouch! This looks quite ugly looking and really not very good to look at. They are trying to use some form of navigation at the top which does not work well at all! The whole flow of this doesn’t work well at all for me. Here is what I think it should look like instead:
While my version is not what it could be like, using their current data, it would make it look a lot better. I removed the “Expand Synopsis” button because it’s useless and just annoying. Also, the buttons are gone and instead we have some nice Action Bar tabs. Also, I added the option to share the film, because how else are you going to tell your friend what film you want to see! I would also love that the app handles the Intent for viewing the links it shares
Booking a film is really the worst part of the app, and it’s almost as if they don’t want you to do this. It’s a Webkit view, that’s it. They ask you to login to my Cineworld, which is great because you can save 10% off your tickets. However, it is rather irritating to do as it logs you out which is something I don’t want it to do. Also, while ordering I need to have my card details out (not very helpful on a bus) plus it tells you about “mobile delivery” costing 10p which actually failed to work for me (you have to type your mobile number in, yet it is easy to access this as a developer).
Once you have booked, you are presented with a screen which displays a reference number once ordered, but this is really rubbish and not really what we should be doing. I would like to have it added to “my Cineworld” account with a QR Code I could just scan at a machine or if that’s not possible at all display reference number and instructions, basically make me a personal wallet for my bookings! This would make my life a lot better being able to login and stay logged in the app (just forward a token to a webview if you want to keep using it, so for example the URL is /order/?filmid=39493&cinema=4432, just add &login=tokenhere to it).
Also, because you would have them saved on your device I would like to not require an internet connection to view the ticket details and for it to popup in my notifications when the showing is about to start (~10 minutes beforehand) and say “Rise of the Guardians is about to start, here are your tickets”.
The app is quite good at what it does, but I really want the app to do a lot more. It’s simple things I want it to do like manage my tickets for me and then it would make this app go from Good, to Exceptional. While more artwork would help, it doesn’t really matter