On my Windows Mobile Dash I used to keep track of television listings with Handmark’s free TV Guide Mobile app which is also supported on BlackBerry devices. It works well and kept me up to date on what I might be missing if I hadn’t set the DVR to record something. In a pinch, I could always check listings and tune in live through my Slingbox. I can’t use the Slingbox with my iPhone, but I can still keep up with what’s on the tube and even do more.i.TV launched for the iPhone and iPod Touch and it too is a freebie. The app immediately takes advantage of location-based functionality to find the zip code nearest you so that you can immediately see listings of the various providers in your current area. For me that showed options for Comcast Cable, Dish and DIRECTV satellite service, Verizon FiOS TV and even over-the-air content. That last one is a biggie for me as I’ve been watching free digital and high-def OTA content for over four years.
The i.TV app isn’t just a simple listing of television content though. There’s a social aspect since you can give a show the thumbs up or down so that others can see the hive-mind ranking. Want to be a budding television show reviewer? You can write reviews for any episode right on the phone as well. Factor in the addition of local theater showing, times and movie reviews for a nice, free all-in-one package. I especially like how you can browse genres and set favorite actors or shows as well. Additionally, some of the movies and shows offer playable trailers. The list of those available is a little slim right now but the i.TV folks are working on expanding those offerings in an iPhone-friendly format.Here’s one of the best parts if you register for an i.TV account: you can click the Watch button and the app will generate a reminder e-mail to your address on file. Attached to the e-mail is an .ics event that you can add to your calendar with a click. Of course, I now have a soap opera reminder in mine… the things I do for the readers… ugh. You can also pass along such a reminder using the Share button, you’ll just need to fill in the e-mail address of a friend. I should point out the .ics event isn’t something you can open on your iPhone. I had to go into iCal to open it and add it to my calendar. Hopefully, this is something that gets addressed soon in a future release because it would be net add to the mobile experience.i.TV only supports the United States and Canada for the time being, but it’s pretty useful for a free listings app and then some.