Have a movie question? Try the latest Search for IMDB from the BlackBerry Beta Zone

IMDB
By James Richardson on 7 Jul 2014 02:03 pm EDT
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I'm fairly sure most folk have used IMDB at some point or another to find out about a movie or a particular actor/actress. Although the BlackBerry 10 browser does a great job there's also the native BlackBerry app to use thanks to S4BB.

Available currently for free from the BlackBerry Beta Zone, Search for IMDB gives you all the information right at your fingertips and in a form that us BlackBerry users are now accustomed to. And getting the results is actually faster than using the browser thanks to the search feature being integrated into BlackBerry 10 - just start typing what you are looking for and tap the Search for IMDB app icon - sweet!

To be clear, there's a version available in BlackBerry World right now for free but if you're looking to give the upcoming features a go, the the version in the Beta Zone is the one you'll want to install. The app will allow you to search for the following:

  • Movie titles
  • Actors
  • Directors
  • Celebs
  • Trailers

  • New for this release - Watch list, Easier sharing, Amazon integration (in case you want to buy the DVD / Blu ray)

You will need the BlackBerry Beta Zone app in order to download it, so be sure you grab that as well if you've not already installed it. Let us know how the latest Search for IMDB is working for you and of course, be sure to feedback for the developers so they can further improve the app.

67 comments

Satinderjit Singh

Awesome :)

Posted via CB10

slagman5

Thank you one-word response posted at the same time as the article. Anyway, I also see search for amazon and ebay. Both of those worth trying too?

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Searchy

I never gave much credence to S4BB because their app icons are disgusting (*cough, CB article a few days ago). I now see that was a mistake. Search for IMDB blows the Android side load out of the water. The official IMDB app has been uninstalled.

Carbon Fiber Z10 w/Leather Holster

s4bb

Thanks a lot for the kudos Searchy :)

audirocs

I use the mobile shortcut. I'll peep this one.

T-Mobile USA Z10

tmf06

Same here. I had the app but it didn't seem to do anything a shortcut icon to the browser page couldn't do.

Someone can correct me if I'm missing something.

Posted via CB10

ymb

Thanks s4bb for creating more native apps

Posted via CB10 on my awesome black Q10 or my white sexy Z10

s4bb

Thanks a lot ymb. Hope you like them.

cookie20

I fopund that it asks for excessive access to my device and there's no difference between the app and the browser. Developing apps, Good! Developing bad apps, Bad!

s4bb

Hi cookie20,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. We know the app requires a lot of permissions which is practically the same set of permissions all of our apps require. This is because there are all these great BlackBerry platform services that we can use to integrate our app into which make our life and especially your and every other user's life easier.

Please let me explain a bit more detailed what each permission request of the app is used for:
- Contacts: to allow the "do you want to get free updates" dialog that shows at the first app startup to pre-populate the email selection box.
- Messages: to allow easy "contact support" that is accessible in the About screen.
- Shared files: to store temporary cache files.
- Connect to BBM: to connect this app to BBM to share apps you discovered.
- Device Identifying: to allow anonymized in-app analytics that help us improve this app.

Feel free to uncheck any permission you do not want to grant. The app will still work, but some functions might be limited or inconvenient then. E.g. you have to enter your own email address manually when subscribing to our free updates.

Rest assured, Search for IMDB has already received the Built for BlackBerry quality certification. Only quality apps that provide great benefit to users and are "good citizens" in terms of design, performance, security and privacy.

To be honest: we don't like the way permission requests are presented to the user at the moment. I can totally understand you, as you only see the type of permission an app is asking for and what access you grant to the app then. There is currently no way for us developers to explain at that very point what we use each permission for. We truly believe that would help many users to really understand what each app does with the permission the user grants that app. We have already asked BlackBerry if they could add that into BlackBerry 10, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be a high priority to them :( If you like our idea, please do feel free to send BlackBerry an email and let them know that such an improvement would bring more transparency to the app permissions from an end-user side.

I hope this helps a bit to understand where we are coming from and also explains why the app is built the way it was. If you have any further questions, please do reach out to us.

Ryan_2013

What an excellent and well worded thoughtful response. Thank you!

Posted via CB10

s4bb

Thanks Ryan_2013. I hope I covered everything. English is not my first language, so there might be some grammatical bumps in there :)

peter0328

Free updates dialog doesn't require contacts. Get the BlackBerry ID email from Device Identifying Information (or possibly something else, but definitely isn't contacts).

Sending support email doesn't need messages permission. You simply invoke a new email with subject and "to" field populated.

Posted via CB10

peter0328

Also shared files isn't how you should store a cache. Cache files are stored in your compartmentalized app install location. Don't install them somewhere another app (or user) can access them.

Shared files is completely unnecessary (and the wrong way to design your app) for what you stated it's used for.

Posted via CB10

peter0328

read_personally_identifiable_ information

That gets first name, last name, and username of active BlackBerry ID. Not sure if that includes BlackBerry ID email.

Posted via CB10

peter0328

Just checked and it gets both screen name and username (email) with that permission.

More info here: http://developer.blackberry.com/native/reference/core/com.qnx.doc.idserv...

You really need to read the dev documentation. You have a lot of misconceptions on what permissions are required to do what you want.

I am assuming that is the reason and not malicious intent to mislead users about why a permission is needed.

Posted via CB10

s4bb

In order to obtain a user's email address you require permissions to access Contacts which allows access to the "Accounts" set up on the device. We want to offer users a choice of their email accounts they can use for our updates dialog. When you open that one you might notice that you can choose any of the email addresses you have set up an "Account" for in your phone. In order to provide this convenience the "Contacts" permission is required. Again, feel free to untick that permission and the app will work fine. Just the updates dialog will not show any email address and you will have to key in your email address.

The "shared files" permission is being used to store content downloaded from our server by our "Promo Messages" process (which can be switched off in the app's "Settings"). Such content is usually a very tiny text file (ca. 400 bytes). It ensures that multiple of our apps that might be installed on the same device do not show the same promo notification twice and therefore don't annoy users. Again, feel free to untick this permission request if you wish.

peter0328

Thank you for explaining in further detail.

The specific use case for the way tour advertising works makes sense then for the shared files permission.

I personally think it would be better to just use the BlackBerry ID permission I mentioned to get the default email, and the user can type a different one if they want something else. Also this permission will get you a unique user ID you can use instead for advertising tracking, instead of basing it on a shared file.

Please comment on why you need messaging and don't just invoke?

Posted via CB10

s4bb

As far as I remember, we used the invocation framework at first, but it had certain disadvantages. I think we could not pre-fill the email with default text (that contains information like app version, device model, OS version, etc) which is important to track down a bug when a user reports one. Off the top of my head this is what I remember, but I will check internally and confirm that. Let me get back to you on that.

s4bb

I just got confirmation. I remembered correctly.

In order to pre-fill the content of the email we have to request access to "Messages". If the invocation framework would allow that we would switch back. It's much nicer to do that through the invocation framework and less work on our side. Plus, it would make the app size a couple of bytes smaller.

peter0328

OK thanks

Posted via CB10

cookie20

Thanks for your reply s4bb. I do appreciate you commenting on here. Since you've commented eloquently (your English seems great to me) I'll try to do the same.
We can agree that this app is for accessing IMDB information only. I dont believe there is any need for you to monitor "in-app analytics that help us improve this app" via the device identifying information as you can always request feedback via other avenues and as Peter has said it is my understanding that shared files access is not necessary for caching since many other apps on my Blackberry cache but do not request access. Nor is it necessary for it to access the "email and pin messages" and again the "contacts" is not necessary if you just asked me to input my email address for "free updates".
I have to say for one that I appreciate the choice BlackBerry gives us when installing apps as opposed to other platforms where there is none.There are multiple ways of designing apps but apps should add functionality where there's a gap. I'm afraid I'm not sure how your app in this instance does, but I wish you best of luck as a BlackBerry dev!

peter0328

Hi I added a few more comments related to permissions. Feel free to add anything you know or find :)

Posted via CB10

s4bb

For in-app analytics we use Flurry which is recommended by BlackBerry for native BlackBerry 10 apps: http://developer.blackberry.com/develop/platform_services/platform_analy...
Flurry requires the permission "read_personally_identifiable_ information" which Peter had mentioned. The depth of analytics Flurry provides is extremely comprehensive and scientifically & statistically very valuable. It allows us to see which button is pressed often, how long folks use the app, at which times during the day and much more insights. I think it is important to point out that all such data is accessible to us as a developer only in an anonymized way. So we have no way to identify who is doing exactly what which is also not what we need to know. It's rather important for us to figure out which features the majority of users like, which screen they open more often, etc. That helps us create a better app and add features which users actually want.

Feel free to untick that permission and we won't be receiving any in-app analytics through Flurry from your app installation.

In regards to the other permissions I have commented above already. Hopefully, that answers your question.

cookie20

I think the issue is that while you have undoubtedly in your eyes very valid reasons for requesting a lot of access for "user functionality" it's the unintended side effects of all of the access we give all of your apps to our devices that I (and others) as a user are most concerned about.

s4bb

I absolutely agree.

That is also why we believe it would be very beneficial if us as developers have a chance to explain why we request a certain permission and what we do with that data. I think that would be a good first start.

Rest assured, we build all of our apps that they should still work fine if you deny certain permissions. Of course, if you download one of our TapCam camera apps and deny access to the camera or to the file system, the app won't work as such permissions are essential to the core functionality of an app. Again, I believe it would be great if we developers could explain ourselves at the right point when users see the permissions. It would help a lot, I believe. Just thinking out of the box maybe even separating permission requests and marking them as "optional" or "required" might make sense for an app as well. But that's something BlackBerry needs to put into their BlackBerry 10 OS and we hope that's a point where they improve in future.

cookie20

Yep but I feel we've come full circle now. It does seem that for the majority it is S4BB apps that require most access to our devices when compared to other apps that (at least in my mind anyway) offer comparable or greater levels of functionality. Why do you think that is so?

s4bb

I guess that's because other developers don't have so many 'services' integrated like _all_ of our apps have. We have something what we call a "SampleApp" which is basically a template app that we use to create all of our own apps from. That "SampleApp" contains all standard functions and features we believe each app should have, like: About screen, Settings screen, BBM connection, Free Updates dialog, a tab view, a link to "More S4BB Apps", Twitter, Facebook, BBM Channel, website links, easy "Contact Support" and so on. Therefore, you will see the very same permissions which each of our apps requests at startup. They are all based on the same core implementation which allows us to rapidly prototype new apps without having to re-implement all those boring parts (about, settings, etc.). Therefore, we can create apps more efficiently than most other developers yet we don't need to cut back on those 'boring' parts that are actually important to provide a consistent app look & feel, feature-set and user-convenience.

We like to automate as many parts in our software development as possible, to make sure we have enough time for the important parts. E.g. what the app is actually doing inside, how it provides value to users.

Other developers probably write each app from scratch, maybe copy/paste some of the 'boring' parts which I mentioned before or leave it out because they also want to focus on the juicy parts. Hence, leaving those functions out, then requires less permissions.

Furthermore, I have downloaded many apps from BlackBerry World. Many of those don't have an "About" screen. Hence, I don't know who has created that app except for the sparse information that you can see on BlackBerry World. Many apps don't have a way to report bugs directly from inside the app. There are even some developers where you never get a reply when you send them an email. We want to make this better, provide a better experience for the user and allow them to conveniently report issues or keep up to date with our apps. While we are far away from being perfect, we try our best. Your feedback - especially when it comes with skepticism - is very much appreciated. It helps us getting to know you and understand your needs better and improve from there. Iteration by iteration, step by step.

cookie20

I'll leave you with the last word. You've earned it.

s4bb

I still got to back to you on "messaging" requirement. Still waiting for confirmation on that. You caught us at lunch time :)

Prem WatsApp

Thanks for all the info.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

felixlives

I've used this in the past and it was a bit buggy, I tried contacting the dev but nothing, to scroll through the movies was always jarry and would not scroll smoothly / fluidly.
This amazon app does the same (at least for me)
I encourage native apps 110%, but and sometimes it's a bit disappointing when a ported (android app) works smoother.
If they fix these issues I would dump those ported apps in less than a second

Posted via CB10

scrapmetal58

I had the same problem. You can scroll through them using two fingers and it's smooth, but the beta release fixed the issue and now works with one finger.

Posted via CB10

s4bb

Hi felixlives,

thanks a lot for the honest feedback. This is exactly why we are running this beta test now. We want to improve our search apps and make them easier and smoother to use.

Some factors in the app can however not be influenced by us directly. We do know for a fact that in a previous version of the app the trailers did not play at all. There was nothing wrong with the, but there was a bug in BlackBerry 10 that didn't allow to play HTML5 video which was embedded into a native BlackBerry 10 Cascades app. I believe that was an issue on BlackBerry 10.1 and had been resolved with the release of BlackBerry 10.2. We will however, definitely look into the smooth scrolling issue.

audirocs

Okay follow up....it has an advertisement pop up. Will delete and staying with the mobile shortcut.

T-Mobile USA Z10

Mutnat

Yeah I previously tried the version in App World and found it useless. I just use the official IMDB app from Snap or Amazon app world. It's a tiny bit sluggish but works very well and free too.

HigherThanMars

Nice, this will come in handy. Can it be integrated into universal search?

s4bb

Hi HigherThanMars,

This very beta that is available on the BlackBerry Beta Zone is all centered around the universal / device search integration which is new in version 1.5 of this app. Right after installing the app, it should show up as an option in the universal search.

Mack Gans

It's easier to make a shortcut for IMDB on your homescreen.

Posted via CB10

Jonesy1966

I've had no issues with the current app, I can't really see anything that would convince me to change at this point.

s4bb

Hi Jonesy,

Perhaps the new device search integration would convince you to have a look at this new version? It seems to come in quite handy :)

masterful

Cool

#BBFactCheck

tfp

Export Error when trying to download

oh well

daveyw_nz

It’s good to have IMDB search, but what I'd really like from the app is the ability to search for nearby cinemas and show me screening times. For whatever reason, both the existing native app and the side loaded Android app cannot find my location so that feature doesn't work.

Posted via CB10

sleepngbear

Tried Flixster?

Posted via CB10

AnotherBillJ

Or Cineplex if you're in Canada?

Posted via CB10

BerryRipe

What I want to see is BlackBerry making all music/movies free to us loyal users through BlackBerry World until Amazon opens it's store.

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

gariac

To be fair, the pop up I got was small. It didn't cover the screen, but was a small strip.

Posted via CB10

Spawn12

Rubbish app, will stick with the version I have from snap. At least that works albeit a bit laggy but not as laggy as this supposed native app.

Posted via CB10

s4bb

Hi Spawn,

Could you please let us know at which particular point the app was "laggy"? As far as we know there is only an issue with the top trailer slide-through area. All other parts of the app should be working smoothly. Furthermore, it would be great to know which BlackBerry device and which OS version (Settings->About->Software Release) you are using. Could you please send this to support@s4bb.com with the subject "Search for IMDB - Bug Report - via CrackBerry".

Thanks a lot for your help in advance.

Gatmyer

Gona give this a try!

Denny_Crane

Looks like the mobile site which I'm not a fan of. What I really want is the site to put a cookie on my phone and remember that I prefer the full site over the mobile site. I hate having to change it every time I visit the site. The BlackBerry browser is more than capable of handling the full site with ease.

velkod

Finally. I have the one from apktrain or w.e and it's awful. Thank you

bansheeboyz

Already have the android apk running on my Z10

Posted via CB10

adonesc

But the version I have currently installed does the same things that you listed in the article!?

The only thing is that it opens up in the mobile version of the site...

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

s4bb

Hi adonesc,

Perhaps the new device search integration would convince you to have a look at this new version? It seems to come in quite handy :)

Spawn12

One thing I don't get is why this app is asking for permissions to my contacts and email, phone?? The one from snap does not ask for anything but location services.

That in itself makes me wary of this app unless someone can give me a good enough reason as to why it's asking for these permissions?? Is this dev up to something unsavoury ie mining our data?? If so blackberry needs to out a stop to these shady practices from devs.

Posted via CB10

Eitot

Just refuse everything and launch it. You’ll notice when the app actually needs permission to function. This app certainly does not need it. ;-)

s4bb

Hi Spawn12,

I had just explained this a bit further up in this long list of great comments and feedback, but I am more than happy to explain it again :)

We know the app requires a lot of permissions which is practically the same set of permissions all of our apps require. This is because there are all these great BlackBerry platform services that we can use to integrate our app into which make our life and especially your and every other user's life easier.

Please let me explain a bit more detailed what each permission request of the app is used for:
- Contacts: to allow the "do you want to get free updates" dialog that shows at the first app startup to pre-populate the email selection box.
- Messages: to allow easy "contact support" that is accessible in the About screen.
- Shared files: to store temporary cache files.
- Connect to BBM: to connect this app to BBM to share apps you discovered.
- Device Identifying: to allow anonymized in-app analytics that help us improve this app.

Feel free to uncheck any permission you do not want to grant. The app will still work, but some functions might be limited or inconvenient then. E.g. you have to enter your own email address manually when subscribing to our free updates.

Rest assured, Search for IMDB has already received the Built for BlackBerry quality certification. Only quality apps that provide great benefit to users and are "good citizens" in terms of design, performance, security and privacy.

I hope this helps a bit to see where we come from and why the permissions are being requested.

curea

Very nice. I like this native app for IMDB. Time to delete the Android version, no need for it.

Posted via CB10

alfasedanman

It's an s4bb app-thanks but I'll pass.
Every app this company puts out asks for 10 times the permissions needed to actually run the app. I've deleted all s4bb apps from my zed 10 and my playbook for this reason. My BlackBerry is used because of world class security-i won't compromise that.
Nice apps, but frankly you're too damned nosy. Pass.

BlackBerry by choice,blackberry for life.

Posted via CB10

s4bb

Hi alfasedanman,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. We do understand your concerns and I had actually just explained this a bit further up in this long list of great comments and feedback, but I am more than happy to explain it again :)

We know the app requires a lot of permissions which is practically the same set of permissions all of our apps require. This is because there are all these great BlackBerry platform services that we can use to integrate our app into which make our life and especially your and every other user's life easier.

Please let me explain a bit more detailed what each permission request of the app is used for:
- Contacts: to allow the "do you want to get free updates" dialog that shows at the first app startup to pre-populate the email selection box.
- Messages: to allow easy "contact support" that is accessible in the About screen.
- Shared files: to store temporary cache files.
- Connect to BBM: to connect this app to BBM to share apps you discovered.
- Device Identifying: to allow anonymized in-app analytics that help us improve this app.

Feel free to uncheck any permission you do not want to grant. The app will still work, but some functions might be limited or inconvenient then. E.g. you have to enter your own email address manually when subscribing to our free updates.

Rest assured, Search for IMDB has already received the Built for BlackBerry quality certification. Only quality apps that provide great benefit to users and are "good citizens" in terms of design, performance, security and privacy.

I hope this helps a bit to see where we come from and why the permissions are being requested.

EvEr34

Would be nice if we could actually close (X) the advertisement

Posted via CB10

s4bb

Hi EvEr34,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. We also noticed that the "Kindle" ad that IMDB is putting in there all the time is quite annoying. We will have a look at how we can improve the user experience. Stay tuned for a future update.

darylsuds

Thanks S4BB. Noone has ever explained the whole permissions to me.

Wow, well done!!

Posted using my amazing and intelligent Z10

s4bb

Hi darylsuds,

You are definitely welcome. It is rather complicated to explain the particulars and reasons behind the permissions and why we request them. I mentioned that further above, and I still believe that it would be great if there would be a way for us developers to explain ourselves at the time when you install an app. That is the right time where we should be allowed to explain to you what we are doing with those permissions. I truly hope BlackBerry will change this in a future version of BlackBerry 10. It would be a huge step forward in terms of building trust and providing transparency.