It’s difficult to believe in this era of time-shifted TV watching when DVRs, Hulu, and other services seem to rule the roost, but there are still plenty of people who want to watch shows the old-fashioned way—when the networks want them to. TV Forecast HD, a $2 iPad app from Big Bucket Software, is aimed straight at the audience.
Like its iPhone counterpart, the iPad app’s purpose is simple: To remind users when their favorite TV shows are on. Search for Justified or Community or any other show that’s currently on air, and TV Forecast HD can save it to a calendar view, or to a list that sends you a push notification when that show airs. No muss, no fuss. And if you want to make sure you don’t skip parts of an ongoing story, the app features a bookmarking feature that lets you note the last episode you watched in a series.
TV Forecast HD also offers episode summaries, the opportunity to buy those episodes through the iTunes Store, and a link to show summaries at TVRage.com. The last feature seems somewhat pointless, since it mostly duplicates the app’s content—and the streaming TV episode content the site offers usually can’t be played on your iPad.
A slight drawback: The app is oriented toward the prime-time schedule of the national broadcast and cable networks. If you’re looking to remind yourself about the afternoon showing of Doctor Phil on the local ABC affiliate, you’re out of luck. And if you’re a fan of classic TV shows on Nick at Nite’s schedule, too bad: The app focuses on first-run shows—old shows lingering on the cable schedule don’t count.
Short of that, however, TV Forecast HD is a nice enough app, better-crafted to a user’s specific tastes than the endless grids of shows in the “guides” provided on your television by cable and satellite television providers. It’s simple, helpful, and modest.
[Joel Mathis is a freelance journalist and political columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. He lives in Philadelphia.]