CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Millions of people have cut the cable and satellite cord over the past 2 years and I’m guessing many of them soon noticed a missing feature on YouTube TV, Hulu, and the rest: TV listings.
Sure you can see what’s on right now but since there are no “channels”, looking ahead to what’s coming on this week is difficult or even impossible.
Enter an app and website with a familiar name: TV Guide.
Remember those weekly magazines that showed everything coming on every local and cable channel? Many people do not know that TV Guide has a mobile app and website that does the same thing for free.
When you first open the app it asks you to sign up for an account which you can do to enable the creation of watch lists. Otherwise, you can just skip the option to see what’s playing. You’re also prompted to add all of the streaming services you subscribe to, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Paramount, and some free options such as IMDB, Tubi, and Pluto. It doesn’t list The Roku Channel.
From that point on when you open the app, you will see suggestions of shows and movies you might like along with the top 10 shows on Netflix, what’s new, and what’s trending. All of that is fine but there are better options if you just want to browse through what’s available on the services you get.
The strong suit of the TV Guide app is what made the magazine so helpful: the TV listings. Using your location or your satellite or cable subscription the TV Guide app lays out everything that’s playing and that’s coming up. Scrolling through the listings on the app on a smartphone is much easier than searching for a show on your subscription service’s listings page. MUCH EASIER.
It’s even better to use the TV Guide app on an iPad’s larger screen.
If you see something on live TV you want to watch just tap the show title and the TV Guide app will open that streaming app on your device so you can start watching. For example, selecting “The Golden Girls” that’s playing on Hulu, opened the Hulu app on my device.
One major drawback is the lack of integration with the YouTube TV app. Currently, the only live streaming service available is Sling. If TV Guide adds the other live streaming options it’ll be a major improvement. You can always choose another service (such as cable or satellite) to see what’s playing and what’s coming up.
You can select a movie to see a preview or trailer and if you set up an account you can create watchlists and add shows you want to see in the future.
But the strong suit is simply the easy-to-see TV listings. I can see live TV listings as well as listings for several days in the future. But without my live streaming service, I can only see what’s coming up and then switch to the YouTubeTV app on my device or streaming device to watch on my television set.
If you’re looking for an app to browse all of your subscriptions to see what’s new and what everyone is watching, I suggest the Just Watch app. If you simply want to just see live TV listings the TV Guide app may be what you’re looking for.
There’s a TV Guide app for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices and you can access the listings on the TV Guide website, TVGuide.com