I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how I’ll survive if this Summer gets any hotter. The AC in our place may force me to become a recluse. Of course I may be able to withstand brief periods of heat, when I dash to the car, then dart into work, the mall, even a movie theatre; anyplace with air conditioning! Actually, I wouldn’t mind catching a flick right now; I’ll trade sweating buckets for a bucket of popcorn. I wonder what’s playing? One option would be to hit up a site like Fandango to check out trailers, promotions and show times. But what if you’re already on the road? It’s time to load up the Fandango BlackBerry application. Just make sure you’re not driving, you know, being mostly illegal and all these days.
The Fandango application provides you with “movies at your fingertips”, but shouldn’t it be thumbs in this case? Whatever digits you are using, you will be able to look up theatre locations, read theatre details, browse through movies and even purchase tickets; all without taking a single step out of your air conditioned car. If you’re lucky, you get to the theatre early enough to avoid sitting in the front row.
The Fandango application is available for BlackBerrys that are running OS 4.5 or higher. The compatible devices are listed as being the Curve (8900, 83xx), Tour 9630, 88xx Storm 95xx and Bold (9000, 9700). The current version of Fandango is 1.0.12 and has a file size of 771.9KB. Fandango works well on BlackBerrys with or without GPS. When you first open up the application, you are presented with two choices; enter your location or find your location. If you choose the first option, Fandango will allow you to search by zip code or postal code. You won’t have to do this every time, but you do have the option to edit your location if you are looking for theatres in another area.
The main screen is where you can browse through movies. Two menus are available; In theatres and Coming Soon. Under “In Theatres” tab are three sub menus. The first shows what is opening this week, the second shows the top box office movies and the third shows what is playing near your location. Fandango offers detailed information on each film listed. At a glance, you can see the film rating, run time, movie poster thumbnail, release date and fan rating. Under Top Box Office, you can also see what appears to be the weekend gross revenue.
Further details are presented to you when you click on a film entry. For movie details, the application lists the plot/synopsis, director, main cast and genre. On top of this, Fandango displays the theatres, showtimes, location and phone number (well…not always). For example, the phone number for Famous Players Colossus in Langley BC is 604-513-8747. Fandango provides me with a phone number for Famous Players Inc in Toronto Ont. At least the address is correct. Regardless, the Fandango app allows you to call the theatre with a single click. To help you map it, the application makes use of BlackBerry Maps (doesn’t appear to have any Google Maps support). To search through theatres much more quickly, you can set up favourites. Movie trailers are also available to view quickly and clearly, no need to download.
If you’re lucky, one of the theatres near you may have mobile ticketing available (I’m not so lucky). Over 16 000 theatres are set up for mobile ticketing so far. To purchase, you simply have to click on your desired showtime. The app will then ask the type and quantity of tickets. Payment can be made with your credit card or through your Fandango account. You are one step closer to your tub of extra buttery popcorn.
I did find the Fandango application to be a little power hungry; I would lose 2 bars of battery within 20 minutes. This is far more draining than if I were to use Poynt. Fandango interface offers smooth navigation and snappy response to commands.
Fandango offers a nearly solid performance for movie goers. It needs tweaking as far as phone number retrieval and Google Maps support are concerned, but I was impressed overall. Personally, I will stick with Poynt, as it offers similar services on top of other ones (Yellow Pages, Restaurant lookup, Weather, etc). If you want to check out the Fandango application, head over to http://www.fandango.com/blackberryapp