On November 14th, 2008 the latest 007 James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace was released in theaters across the US. To tie in with the movie, a free iphone app was distributed. I’m going to be taking a look at some of the application’s good points and bad points, and making some suggestions for improvements that future iPhone app developers may want to consider.
The most impressive part of the Quantum of Solace app are the videos. Included are movie trailers, “behind the scenes”, and “making of” style videos. The content of the videos ranges from good to average, but they are controlled iPhone video style, so you can pause and comeback where you left off ( a definite advantage over watching youtube on the iPhone). The app mentions checking back regularly for new videos, but I haven’t seen anything new in the 10 days since I downloaded it.
The next section has movie information, a plot synopsis, cast members and a filmmaker bio. The synopsis is good, as is the filmmaker section. The cast section is underutilized. It contains the character’s name, actor’s name and picture. I would have liked to have seen a more detailed biography and maybe some links to IMDB where appropriate.
The last section is the soundtrack section, and this where the application starts to fall apart. The only option is to buy the Jack White and Alica Keys “Another Way to Die” track, not the entire album soundtrack.
The app deisgners did get some things right. The trailers were good, as were the synopsis and filmmaker sections of the information tab. However, the developers got more wrong than they got right, missing several core items of movie tie ins, and missed out on the opportunity to get additional press by breaking new ground.
Including ringtones and wallpaper backgrounds have been standard for movie tie-ins for many years, but were completely left out of this iphone application. Additionally, they should have included more pictures and the ability to set a picture as a wallpaper background.
The shopping section seems like an afterthought. Leaving off the ability to buy the entire album or video from the iTunes store seems criminal. Not including links to buy previous Bond movie soundtracks is equally as baffling. It’s disappointing that the studios weren’t able to find a way to sell digital versions of the older Bond movies and include those in the shopping section as well.
The biggest missed opportunity was not including location aware movie show times and ticket purchase functionality. The technology exists to use the built in GPS to find the closest theater (see ITV.com) , and link to an online mobile ticket website like fandango to make purchases.
By missing out on several core elements, and by not utilizing new breakthrough functionality, the developers missed the opportunity to make the application go viral, and increase ticket sales.
The preceding has been part of an occasional series of iPhone social media and viral marketing applications. You can see more of these posts by using the iPhone application tag.