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NextGuide comes to iPhone - get control of your media viewing

TUAW looked at NextGuide more than a year ago, at which time it was a website and iPad app that alerted TV fans about movies and TV programs they might want to see. It was kind of a super TV Guide, but more personal. The free app has now come to the iPhone, and features push notifications in addition to emails (you can choose to get both or none). In the latest iOS 7-enabled app, NextGuide is deeply integrated with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and the iTunes Movie Store.

For example, if you are looking for movies starring actor Gregory Peck, the guide will find showings of his films on the streaming services, over-the-air TV, on cable or satellite. You can get a reminder that a movie is coming up, or you can choose to watch Peck films on any streaming services you have. For example, if I click on Netflix, the app switches to my Netflix app, and starts playing the movie. That's very cool.

With NextGuide, you don't have to have watchlists scattered about on different services -- now you can maintain a single list right in this app. The app also features an episode tracker and fall show previews. There are links to reviews from Rotten Tomatoes as well, so the information is pretty much everything a person would need to intelligently find things to watch.

I tried the app and set it for DirecTV, which is my provider, and then added Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. It worked as advertised.

I can think of a few improvements for NextGuide. I'd like to set up some permanent searches, and have the app learn my preferences the way Netflix does. While the app can initiate recordings on DirecTV DVRs, it would be great if that also worked on cable and other services. That would require the cooperation of those companies, which all have their own apps, so I'm not holding my breath on that.

Still, NextGuide is very handy, and provides loads of viewing information in one place. I love the integration with Netflix and Amazon Instant Videos right on my iPhone, and the reminders are valuable.

NextGuide is now a universal app, and it requires iOS 6 or later. It's been nicely optimized for iOS 7 and the iPhone 5 series devices with their larger screens.

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