If you’re on a tight budget, then chances are you haven’t been to the movie theater in a while. Rising costs of ticket prices and snack foods have made going to the movies a fairly pricey affair, with the average cost hovering somewhere between 20.00 USD and 30.00 USD per film. A lot of people are turned off by the cinema experience anyway: crowds of people, sometimes uncomfortable seating, and sudden fluctuations in volume. Some people just prefer the luxury of viewing a new release movie in a private setting.
But renting a movie isn’t exactly cheap either. If you have Netflix, then your rental cost is fairly low, but those of us who travel a lot don’t necessarily have the luxury of Netflix’s “by-the-mail” service. The Redbox was a good answer to the rental dilemma, offering movies for a dollar per night, but these purchase-centers are not necessarily available in every area. The practice of renting a movie also carries the risk of late-fees and damage associated with it. If you accidentally scratch a disc or spill something onto it, then you’re responsible for the full purchase price of the movie. You’re also under pressure to return the title to the rental store on time, to ensure that you aren’t docked extra cash for keeping the film too long. There hasn’t really been a way to combat these high costs and risks, until now.
Crackle is the brainchild of Sony Entertainment. This application is a quick and easy install with no sign up or registration requirements. All of Crackle’s movies can be streamed and “saved for later” via the queue. You still get basic options too like rewind, fast forward, and “scene skip”. Maneuvering through the application is simple too. Gentle finger swipes and taps will allow you to scroll easily through lists of films.
The layout of the app is also easy to follow and navigate. Simple headers at the bottom of the screen will let you differentiate between movies, your queue, and even a “featured films” page. There is also a nifty viewing history sub-section that will show you which films you have already seen. The one downside is that Crackle doesn’t offer any organization in terms of categorizing its movies by genre or likeness to other shows. When you search for a movie, it must be done alphabetically as that is all the application offers at this time.
Crackle will give you a variety of free movies streamed directly to your iOS device and even on a 3G network I experienced no slow-down or buffering when I tested the app out. What Crackle won’t give you though is access to any “new movies”. In fact, the chief complaint about the service is that it lacks any “modern titles”. Most of the films you will find on Crackle are pre-2000’s, which doesn’t appeal to anyone looking for recent titles. However, if you’re just looking to enjoy a movie regardless of age, then this is the perfect app for you. The best part about Crackle is that it’s 100 percent free with no rental fees or subscription costs.