ATT U-verse iPad App Review: pt2 Search

A while back a full review of the U-vsrses’ new iPad app.  Or so I thought. In the original post I completely forgot to add how to use the search function on the U-verse app.  Yes it does indeed have search.

You’d think that a feature like search wouldn’t warrant its own post.  The amount of stuff actually in search is quite extensive. You aren’t limited to just searching for the show name.  You get all sorts of options when finding that show or movie you want to watch.  And it even searches the on demand stuff too.

That’s not to say it’s perfect… there are a few little oversights too.  But overall a great feature.

So you know you want to watch or record a show, but aren’t sure when it’s on.  Or perhaps you want to watch something with your favorite actor?  Don’t worry.  U-verse has you covered.

So how do you search?  That’s pretty easy.  Every page has the search bar up on the upper left side of the screen.  What do you search for? That is a bit wider of an answer: (Almost) whatever you want.

Show search
Lets start of simple.  Say you caught the name of some new show and want to set it to record (just in case you’re not home whenever it’s on).  Once you click the search bar your recent history and the keyboard pops up.  While typing, the U-verse app will try to auto complete so you don’t have to type the whole thing (although for some reason only does it for single words… odd).  Either click on the suggestion or hit search and you will be brought to the results.

Chances are if you searched for a show name you’ll get one or two results (or more if you search for something like “Law and Order”…).

The items will be arranged by category. Each The most common you’ll run across are “Shows & Series” and “On Demand”.  The difference of course being that the first is a show that is airing in the next 2 weeks, and the later being something you can watch either on the TV or via the iPad.  Viewable shows will also have when they are next (more on this later).  You can arrange these search results by:

  • Relevance – Standard arrangement based on how close to the search
  • Alphabetic  – The results solely on “A – Z”
  • Date/Time – How close to “now” the show or item is one

Once you select the show you will be shown a brief summary of the show with the standard explorer, rating, cast, and favorite buttons.  Underneath that will be the episodes each with their own summaries, show info (episode/season), run time and options.  If viewing On Demand , the options you will get will be when you can view it till and the “Watch on iPad” button.  The Shows and Series options include the date and time it is showing, what channel, original air date, and the Record button.

Cast Search
Not content with a specific show title? Taking advantage of the “explore” feature built into the app, the search function can search any cast member of a show.  Have a favorite actress that you want to watch?  Enter in her name and a list of everything he’s in coming up appears.  Love movies or shows from a certain director?  Enter in their name, and it will bring up everything you can watch by them.

One thing you might run into, especially if you just search someone’s first or last name, is that you won’t get all the results.  If there are more than 4-5 items in a category you will see a number on the right side.  Clicking this will expand just that category with all the results.   If it has more than that category can show one page, you can scroll up and down with a swipe of your finger.

The Downside

Only future results… kinda
I mentioned before that it shows when a series or movie is on… Next.  You’d think that if you are searching for something to watch, search would give you results not only what you can record, but also things on now.  This is not the case.  If you search for a show or movie it will only return future showings. I suppose that they intend you to view whats currently on via the home page.

And to make it a bit more annoying, this doesn’t seem the case across the board.  If you search for a person any shows they might be in will list shows that are on right now.  They even place a “watch on tv” button there if your iPad is paired with a cable box on your network.  Very annoying.

No match found
You’re bound to run across this at some point when searching.  This is something I wish they’d flush out some since it can mean two things.  Either it means whatever you searching for doesn’t match anything on record for the next 2 weeks.  Or it can also mean that whatever you typed… is just wrong.  Typing “Tim Currey” results in no match, but it should suggested that perhaps I meant “Tim Curry” like most other search engines would do.  So be careful with what you type.  Could be the difference between nothing to watch, and tons of shows.

Incomplete Search Criteria
With all the information that the U-verse app has its disposal there seems to be one glaring omission to search: Content.   Most shows, movies, and even specific episodes have a full (or at least a tease) summary of what happens.  And yet none of that is searchable.  In the mood for something about spaceships?  Unless “spaceship” is a title of an episode, series, or perhaps even a cast members last name, you won’t find it in the results.


Overall the search function is pretty extensive.  Being able not only to search for shows, but also the actors, directors, and any of the headline cast, makes it easy to search for anything you might want to record in the next two weeks or watch on demand.  Other than the one glaring oversight of content search, and the smaller annoyance of being unable to search for what’s on right now, search works very well.

Categories: App ReviewTags: , , , , , , ,


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