After being such a sucker for cool iPhone apps for so long, yesterday allowed me to put my money where my mouth is (somewhat) as it marked the launch of the first app that I’ve ever had any kind of hand in actually creating. The Movie Finder by Metacritic app is (as the name suggests) an app for finding movies, that pulls your GPS location, finds nearby theaters, and then provides the metascores for all of the movies that are on so you can make a choice based on how well they’ve been reviewed.
All useful stuff, right? The real flair comes in the shape of the augmented reality movie finder thingummy though. This is the thing that lets you point your iPhone at a theater, and it pulls up the next available showtimes along with their metascore. This feature almost didn’t make it into the release, and in fact it was never scheduled as part of the concept at all. It emerged as an entry in our annual Hack Day challenge at work, where our iPhone developer submitted the idea after less than 24 hours of work on it. It was intended as a demonstration of how you can mash up some of the Apple SDK stuff with our own Metacritic API to make something incredibly cool. We loved it so much that we pushed our submission date back a couple of weeks so he could include it in the first release. It’s kinda gimmicky, but there’s definitely something very cool at pointing the camera in the general vicinity of any movie theater and seeing it immediately pull up a full list of movies with scores.
We still have stuff that we want to add in to future releases, but as a v1.0 we’re pretty proud of it.