This app has a fun concept that could be useful to a lot of users, but the features aren't very intuitive so the user experience is terrible. There were also a few apparent programming flaws that were experienced while testing the app that should be addressed. The one-time fee for purchasing the premium features is fair at $4.99, but since the restore purchases function did not work, the price rating has been dropped.
- EASE OF USE
Vid Diva user experience falls flat and fails expectations.
Have you ever had those times when you try an app or a product and really want to like it, but it has too many flaws to enjoy? Well, that is where I am with Vid Diva. On the surface, this app should be perfect for someone like me. I’m always finding TV shows and movies that I want to watch, but never have time to. So, this cataloging app with built-in database access should be ideal for me. The problem is that I couldn’t get past the poor user experience.
Background on the App
Vid Diva is an app developed for iOS, iPad, and macOS that helps users keep track of movies and TV shows. It was first launched in July of 2021. The app can help users plan what they want to watch, find when new episodes will be on, and more. The app is even designed to alert users when a new episode is ready to be watched. Vid Diva is connected to a couple of different services (IMDB, TVMaze, TMDB) to ensure that the most up-to-date information is being provided on shows and movies.
- An in-app to-do list of TV shows and movies that you plan to watch in the future.
- TV show progress tracking that shows you how far through the current season you are
- Advanced search capabilities that will find the TV show you’re looking for no matter the TV channel or streaming service it’s on.
- A show calendar that gives you an easy-to-use view of what’s coming up. New episodes of the shows you follow will automatically be added to your watch list.
- All the information about TV shows and movies that you could ever need thanks to IMDB integration.
- Notifications that will ensure you know when: a new movie is in cinemas or a new episode of your favorite show is out.
- A Home screen widget to highlight all of the new TV shows and movies coming out this week.
Pricing and Availability
Vid Diva is free to use with no restrictions for up to five total TV shows and movies. The premium version is $4.99 as a one-time universal purchase and allows for an unlimited number of shows and movies. The app is available for macOS 11.0 and later (requires a Mac with M1 chip), iPhone with iOS 14 or later, iPad with iPadOS 14 or later, and iPod Touch with iOS 14 or later.
When I first heard about Vid Diva, I was really excited. I thought, “Finally, I can keep track of things I want to watch just like Todoist keeps track of my daily tasks.” There have been so many times that I’ve been with friends and they’ve suggested a show or a movie and then I can’t remember it later. The way this app was described and honestly, the way it was designed should have functions exactly like that. Unfortunately, I did not have that kind of experience.
I started working with Vid Diva on my iPhone 12 Pro, but the functionality and user experience are very similar on macOS. Because the app was in the App Store, the download and installation process was pretty easy. I clicked on the “Get” button and the free version of the app, which is not limited except for the number of shows/movies you can save – installed with no problems.
The first few screens that a user is shown describe some of the functionality of the app. A lot of people flip through these quickly – myself included – and while there is nothing wrong with that, there is a lot of valuable information about how the app works that you don’t get later if you skip over these screens. For example, one of the intro screens for the Watch List has the following info on it:
- Tap the blue circle to mark an episode or movie as watched.
- Long press (hold for a second) to also mark all previous episodes as watched.
This is something I missed and when I was attempting to manage my playlist later, I thought it was just a function that was missing.
There are four tabs in the app – Search, Watch List, Calendar, and Settings. The first thing I noticed about this app is that the first three tabs are essentially the same tabs just with slightly different features included.
The Search tab in Vid Diva provides your selected list of shows and movies with a search field at the top of the screen. When you start typing in that field, shows, and movies that match your search term appear in a list. Each item has an “add” button with it. You have the option to tap on the title of the search result items to look at the item’s description or you can add them to your Watch List.
I noticed the search results weren’t always 100% accurate. For example, I typed in “yellow” because I wanted to add the show Yellowstone to my Watch List. The items that appeared in the search results did not include Yellowstone and while it did include titles with the word “yellow” in them, the last four items in the list were Willow, Fellow Travelers, NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and Sleepy Hollow.
Now, I am not a software developer so I don’t know exactly how this search would have been programmed, but I thought it was strange that one of the most popular shows available didn’t appear by typing part of its title and that titles that only sounded like the search term did appear.
I also experienced a strange error while attempting to add shows to my Watch List. At one point, I tried to add Rachel Ray by tapping on the Rachel Ray title and Entertainment Tonight was actually what was added to my list. I mentioned this to the developer and he said he had never experienced it before. It may just be an intermittent bug, but definitely, something that affected my user experience.
Another oddity I encountered was that in order to remove items from your Watch List, it must be done on the Search tab. While in your saved list, you can swipe to the left and reveal a ‘delete’ option. This will remove the item from your saved list. This function is not available in the Watch List tab.
When you save items to your Vid Diva Watch List, all the episodes to that show (if it’s a show) are populated into that list. So, if you have been a loyal watcher of a show like NCIS, which has been on the air for 19 seasons, there will be hundreds of episodes on your list. I would love to see an option for a user to add individual episodes, too. As I mentioned above, at first, I could not figure out a way to mark multiple episodes as watched. This meant that I was going to have to mark each episode as watched one by one.
Fortunately, the developer did point out that multiple episodes can be marked by executing a long press on the checkmark spot. This ends up hiding all the episodes that are marked. There is a toggle menu on each title that has the following options – hide, see next episode and all episodes. The hide feature hides all episodes that are not watched yet; the see next episode option opens the next episode in the watch list in your browser; and the all episodes feature reveals all the episodes of that show – watched or not.
Again, while the functions I want are available, they aren’t as user-friendly as they could be. For example, I think it would be great if the default state of the Watch List was simply a list of your saved shows/movies. Then if you want to see the episodes, you can tap on the title of the show to open the episode list. I feel like the way it is now there is an extra step that has to be taken in order to get to a simple list of the shows in your list.
The first time I tapped on the Calendar tab in Vid Diva, I was expecting to see an actual calendar (grid view) and not another list. The function of this tab is designed to provide the user with an alternate view of the watch list to show the episodes in order of air date and it auto-scrolls to ‘today’ or the nearest day in the week that has a show on your list.
While this function is useful, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I would have much rather seen an actual grid view with maybe dots on the days that had your shows airing. Then when you tap on that date, a list of the shows on that day show in a list. Rather than it being another long list that you have to scroll through.
I also found that when you have your shows hidden in the Watch List tab, they don’t appear in the Calendar tab. In fact, when you have all your shows hidden, which is something I do so that it is a nice clean list instead of a long list of episodes, and then you select the Calendar tab, the app quits.
This didn’t happen once or twice randomly. It happen every single time all the shows were hidden and I tried to select the Calendar tab. There was one time that the Calendar showed a black screen with the word “Calendar” at the top and when I tried to switch back to the Watch List, the app quit.
This also happened when I was on the Settings tab and tried to select the Calendar. I would say this is a definite bug in the programming of Vid Diva. As long as there is at least one show that is not hidden, the app will not experience this error.
The Settings tab within Vid Diva included the following options for users:
- Notifications: Daily new releases
- Compact View: Shorter watch list, tap to show more
- Accessibility: Vibrate on watched or show added, Reduce animations
Each one of those options has a toggle next to each feature so that the user can turn them on and off. Below this list, there is a box that shows information about the shows/movies that you have saved (episodes watched, movies watched, shows followed, and movies followed). This is also where the app calls out that data is provided by TVMaze and TMDB.
When you open the information on an individual item, the option to open the episode in IMDB is also provided. I found that this function only opens the show’s page on IMDB and not the specific episode you have selected in the app. Now, while this isn’t really a dealbreaker for me, I feel as though IMDB should also be credited on the Settings tab as a resource. I also feel as though an FAQ or guide for using the app should be included in the Settings tab.
Another programming flaw I experienced in Vid Diva involved the paid vs. free versions of the app. When I originally downloaded and installed the app, I purchased the premium version. At one point, I removed the app so that I could grab screenshots of the app’s intro screens. I re-downloaded and installed the app and when I was trying to set it back up with TV shows, I found that I was limited by the number of shows as if the app were the free version.
A dialogue box appeared with a warning telling me to Go Premium to get unlimited tracking. I tried to use the Restore Purchases option, but nothing happened. There was no restoration of premium features and no error stating that there were no previous purchases. It’s as if the button weren’t actually programmed.
Vid Diva also provides a widget option, but it is very basic. It only shows TV shows that have new episodes during that week. If you tap on it, the app will open to the Watch List. In addition to that, the widget will not display anything if you keep your shows hidden in the Watch List and if an episode has already aired, it will not be in this widget list. This is just one more way that the ‘hidden’ feature impedes other features of the app.
I also noticed that even though the tabs and basic functions are the same between the iOS and macOS versions, some of the changes made in one version don’t sync to the other. For example, if you hide items on the phone, they aren’t hidden on the Mac version.
I do love the concept of Vid Diva. I would love the opportunity to be able to keep track of the tv shows and movies that I want to watch in a single app. I just don’t feel that the user experience exists in Vid Diva. The functions I want – with a couple of exceptions – are there in Vid Diva but the user has to find where they live instead of it being intuitive. In addition to that, there is no user guide to provide direction for how a user can best utilize the app.
I also feel that this app has some programming issues. As I previously stated, I’m not a developer, but just based on the errors I experienced and the fact that certain problems occur directly around certain features leads me to believe that there are programming errors. I do hope that updates are made and that the flaws are connected because this app has a lot of potential.