Redbox Android app offers DVDs to go

Mar 1, 2011
TV and Movies
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Redbox changed the DVD retail landscape in less than a year. Who woulda thunk that $1-per-night movie rentals would be so popular? Blockbuster and other older DVD rental businesses have suffered as a result. Now the bright red vending machines are popping up everywhere. The Redbox website made renting even easier, and now the Redbox app pushes the bar even higher.

Redbox is a handy service that allows you to rent movies and games from a machine. These kiosks are usually set up at popular grocery and convenience store chains. The app offers a search option that lets you browse movies and games and find nearby kiosks, wherever you are. What’s especially great about this app is that you can see everything that’s available at your nearest kiosks and you can make a reservation. This way, what you’re looking for is guaranteed to be there when you arrive.

Location becomes key — because you’re dealing with Redbox vending machines around you. Fortunately, the app automatically uses your phone’s location as the main search criteria. With one tap, you can helpfully favorite specific vending machines so they’ll always appear at the top of the search results list. You can enter another address or ZIP code in the top search bar to change locations.

The main screen lists Redbox’s current catalog of DVDs, with the new releases at the top. Touch a movie image, and the app shows the plot summary, cast, rating and running time. Press the “Reserve” button to hold the movie for pickup at the box of your choice. You’ll need to log-in to your Redbox account to complete the transaction, but if you’re comfortable, the app will save your credentials so you only need to log in once.

What’s not to love? Well, I noticed some minor issues. The app doesn’t yet support landscape mode, so you’ll have to type using the virtual keyboard in portrait orientation. There also appeared to be a minor glitch with the database — the app showed me a movie that wasn’t yet released to my local Redbox, and it disappeared in mid-process when I tried to reserve it.

Overall, though, the Redbox app works great for those already using the service and for those thinking about it. It is very simple to use and runs very smoothly on Android phones and tablets.

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