In days gone by, reading about what was going to be on the television for the week ahead was typically done via magazines such as TV Choice. While these magazines are still around, most people either use their televisions menu screen or apps nowadays to find out what they’ve got to look forward to –
There are a number of different apps which provide this function, and in this article we are going to look at the best three tv guide apps around and look at how each one works and what they’ve got to offer.
The best TV guide app UK – Ranked
TV Guide and Listings App
TV Guide and Listings App does exactly what it says on the tin, in addition to going the extra mile. The app is brilliant at making sure their tv guide is tailored towards your current television subscription, allowing users to feel the full benefit of the service.
When you first load the app you are asked to select what tv package you are currently signed up to and to in which part of the United Kingdom you are from. This ensures that the most appropriate regional shows are displayed on their system when it comes to you viewing your TV guide.
Once you’ve selected your package and region, you are then asked to add any television streaming services that you are signed up to, ensuring that they can show you everything that is available to you. Although not every subscription service is embedded within the app, the most popular ones such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are.
The app offers users multiple different ways to view what’s on, from the traditional tv guide format to picking out highlights form the week ahead. The app also categorises the content available to you, enabling you to see what live sport is currently on the tv or what soaps are available to watch on demand.
In addition, they show which shows are proving to be the most popular with other users, perhaps giving you incentive to watch new shows that you otherwise wouldn’t know about.
TV Guide Plus Listing
Following in the footsteps of TV Guide and Listing App is another tv guide with a rather ‘on the nose’ name. There’s nothing wrong with that though, it just ensures that users who are searching for a tv guide via the app store will find the app quickly without any issues.
TV Guide Plus Listing opens up with a bunch of permission requests, including location and calendar. The location request is to ensure that they are showing tv listings available in your area and the calendar request is so they can add any shows that you don’t want to miss on to your phone’s calendar, allowing you to receive alerts when your selected shows are about to air.
The interface isn’t the prettiest thing we’ve ever seen but it functions well enough and offers users a couple of categories within the settings tab, such as movies, sport and cartoons, if you are wanting to search specifically for any of those genres. These tabs will bring up a list of shows for that day which fit into these specific genres, allowing you to plan your day of sport or day of movies in front of the television accordingly.
One thing the app should make clearer is the fact that it does display more than just channels on the Freeview app. If you swipe across on the tv guide then it will take you to non-free view channels such as Sky Sports and Sky Movies. However, they kind of leave the user to figure that out themselves. On the whole, though, this is a tidy app that does the job when it comes to tv planning.
UK TV Guide
Are you beginning to see a pattern emerge here with the names of these apps? Anyway, moving on from the name and on to the actual app itself. Just like the first app we covered, UK TV Guide also asks for you television provider and location when you first sign up to the app. However, they go even more specific and ask for you BBC and ITV location. If you’re unsure on this, just check the name of your regional news show.
Once you’re in the app, it is very clean and easy to navigate. The app offers two different viewing options for the tv guide, which are essentially by hour or by channel. Both systems work well, but on a personal note I find the channel view easier to use and understand. The app possesses a wide range of categories which line up with your subscription package. Categories include Arts, Comedy, Drama, Film, Sport and plenty more.
One really cool feature of the app is the ‘reminder’ section. This is where you can find a show on the tv guide that you really don’t want to miss, add it to your reminders section and then the app will send you a push notification when the programme is about to start to ensure that you don’t miss it.
Another cool feature is that you can select your favourite channels to create a custom tv guide. This is a way to get rid of all the listings for channels that you never watch, and hone in on your favourite shows from your favourite tv channels. Sadly, this feature is only available to premium users which comes at a cost of £1.99 a month. If this was free, then it likely would have topped this list – however, you’d probably be better off using that cash to pay towards a premium app for TV shows.
To conclude, all three of these apps work just fine as a tv guide app if all you’re interested in is a bog standard tv guide for the week ahead. However, they all add something extra to the user experience, too. We would award TV Guide and Listings App as the number one app in the UK when it comes to this genre, edging out TV Guide Plus Listing and UK TV Guide to the top prize due to the fact that it incorporates streaming apps into its listings.