iPhone App Review: Bee.tv

iPhone App Review: Bee.tv

June 3rd, 2010 by

If you frequently find yourself staring at the TV or computer screen, just waiting patiently for content that you might enjoy to materialize before your very eyes (does anyone actually do that?), then you may want to download Bee.tv and give it a spin.

Main screen, you can see my tastes.

The app’s developers bill this as “personalized TV – anytime, anywhere”, but does the execution match the marketing?


Bee.tv’s main draw is that it will learn your tastes and recommend television, On-Demand, and download-able content for you to watch. Other features include:

  • Fully search-able television listings based on ZIP code and provider.
  • The ability to email reminders before shows start.
  • Listing filters to  show only HD content, only free shows, filter by genre, mood, rating, etc.
  • “Deals”, which shows marked-down or free content on iTunes and Amazon’s VOD service.
  • A list of “Other Sources” for each show, so if you miss it on TV it will show you links for On-Demand, iTunes, Amazon, etc. (and of course future airings on TV as well).
  • Access to the Bee.tv website. Your profile and watch list carries over to the website giving you access to your profile anywhere.


The app is well-designed and rock-solid. The main recommendation screen is intuitive, with all relevant links placed at the top and tabs for all of the other main features at the bottom.

Searching "Tennis" brings up interesting results...

Bee.tv’s search function is robust and works well, giving you options to search by title, cast, director, etc., as well as having the full filter list available.

Bee.tv is generally a fantastic TV listings app that also brings you other sources for the same content, so you can find that rare movie or TV episode somewhere else if it’s not coming on anytime soon.


Bee.tv is a powerful TV listings app, but with that power comes:

  • A busy user interface
  • Lots of loading time as it searches their database with almost every tap of the screen
  • A slightly unintuitive experience once you dig past the main recommendation screen

Those are general, subjective issues that some people may not even notice or have a problem with. Some specific things I didn’t like about the app are:

  • It shows recommendations for shows on channels I don’t subscribe to, and removing channels from the recommendation listing is not intuitive (you swipe on the recommended show, which brings up a red “Discard Channel” button)
  • You have to enter an email address each time you ask the app to send you a reminder to watch a show. It should have a default email address that you enter only once.
  • It recommends shows only based on your own ratings, not those of others with similar tastes (like on Netflix).


Bee.tv is actually a very powerful and easy-to-use TV listings app, that has tried to incorporate some watching

recommendation features. It falls short there (it never really recommended anything that surprised me or broadened my horizons), but the ability to find other sources like iTunes and Amazon for all of the listed shows actually makes it a very useful way to find and watch shows that you enjoy.

  • arthur ouzenne

    i like bee tv

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