TV Blaze is one of the more recent television show tracking apps to become available for Windows Phone 8. The app helps you track your favorite television shows from what you have already watched to the new episodes that are waiting to be watched.
TV Blaze also has Trakt.tv integration, OneDrive support and tons of information on your favorite shows. Navigation isn’t as straight forward as we would have liked but overall, TV Blaze is a nice option to consider that will help you track your TV viewing habits.
TV Blaze’s Layout
TV Blaze’s main pages help deliver information about your favorite television shows along with the tools to build up your favorite’s list. The main pages include:
- TV Guide: This page will list any upcoming episodes for your favorite shows.
- Recent: Here you will find the episodes you have recently viewed for easy reference.
- To See: This is a listing of all the episodes of your favorite shows you need to watch.
- Menu: A host of tools that include pulling up list views for your favorite shows, shows you need to see, view what shows are trending, search for shows to add to your favorites list, view a calendar listing of episodes, access the app’s settings, log into your Trakt.tv account, unlock the app and view the obligatory help, about and feedback screens.
Settings for TV Blaze cover a wide variety of areas that include allowing the app to run under a lock screen, customizing the view of the app’s main pages, customize the Live Tile view, format your episode data and setup your OneDrive backup.
TV Blaze is a free, ad-supported app for Windows Phone 8 and while the banner doesn’t detract from the app you can remove the ads and unlock additional features through an in-app purchase. A $1.49 purchase will remove the ads and unlock the following features:
- Activates the background agent to keep the Live Tile updated
- Live Tile customizations
- Home view customizations
- Pinning shows to your Start Screen
- Data formats are permanently saved
There are additional options to add a donation to the developer with your in-app purchase.
TV Blaze’s performance
When you first launch TV Blaze, you are presented with a blank slate. There is a menu button in the top corner of the TV Guide and To See pages but this button only pulls up a list view of these pages. You will see a message on the TV Guide page that reads,
“You don’t have any upcoming episodes, add some shows to get started…”
But there is no indication how to add shows.
What you’ll need to do is head over to the Menu page and search for your favorite shows. This will pull up a keyword search field where you can locate your favorite television show.
The television show listing will have pages that include general information on the show, an episode listing, a cast listing, any user comments, an image page and a page listing any similar shows that might be of interest.
Along the bottom of the television show pages are four control buttons and a three-dot menu. The buttons include a track, refresh, comment and rate button. Tap the track button to add the show to your favorites list and in doing so, this television show will populate TV Blazes’ main pages.
Up under the three-dot menu you will find options to pin the show to your Start Screen, share the show (via email, social sites, or text), add or remove a reminder, and set custom poster images. Some of these features will require you to unlock the app.
Once you’ve added a show to your TV Guide you will get notifications when an upcoming show is about to air as well as all the episodes you need to watch. You can mark an episode as watched from the television show’s pages.
TV Blaze is a nice television show tracking app that has potential. Is TV Blaze strong enough to stand out from other options such as Clutter or TVShow? I don't know if TV Blaze is there just yet but the app is headed in the right direction by offering a lot of information on your television shows and the notifications on upcoming episodes is a helpful feature.
The key issue that holds TV Blaze back is the lack of guidance when you first launch the app. It isn't too difficult to get a handle on the app's navigation but it would be nice if TV Blaze wasn't so much of a guessing game right out of the box. I think something as simple as an "add" button on the TV Guide page or a short tutorial screen appear when you first launch the app would be helpful. TV Blaze just needs something to get users pointed in the right direction.
While there is a little fine-tuning needed, TV Blaze is a television tracking app for your Windows Phone that is worth checking out. TV Blaze is a free app that is available for Windows Phone 8 and you can find your copy here in the Windows Phone Store.