HGTV to GO iPad app’s bugs mar clean design

Jul 20, 2011
Shine

HGTV might be known for its high standards in design, but despite its many programs centered on creating smart, functional spaces, app HGTV to GO for iPad isn’t up to snuff. The biggest problem I experienced when using HGTV to GO on original iPad is a persistent low-memory error warning that the app might crash […]

HGTV might be known for its high standards in design, but despite its many programs centered on creating smart, functional spaces, app HGTV to GO for iPad isn’t up to snuff.

The biggest problem I experienced when using HGTV to GO on original iPad is a persistent low-memory error warning that the app might crash and that I should close all open apps and restart my device. Really? I have to wonder how much memory HGTV to GO is designed to use as this error occurred even with all apps closed.

If you can bypass this error — ignoring it worked in most instances — the app offers full episodes of the network’s popular programming. Although the shows are presented commercial-free, they are divided into short segments, usually three to six clips, depending if the show usually runs 30 minutes or an hour. Normally, this would just be a mild annoyance, but if you add a show to favorites for later viewing, you’ll need to add each clip individually. I was able to find episodes for my favorite HGTV programs, but the number of included episodes varied, and the availability wasn’t always the most current — it seemed like most of the other shows offered the past three to five episodes, but this wasn’t consistent. If you’re interested in “Selling New York,” you could watch episodes 12 and 13 from the first season, or episodes two through four of the third season. Videos did stream clearly over a Wi-Fi connection and can be made full-screen, which is a plus. I didn’t have any issues with playback or audio, but some reviewers have reported different experiences, so your mileage might vary.

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In addition to video content, HGTV to GO also offers photo galleries with before and after images pulled from popular programming. This is a great database for design inspiration, but photos loaded slowly and induced some serious ZZZs. The UI of HGTV to GO is alright, but I was disappointed that the program guide wouldn’t save my time zone. It would also be nice if you could set program reminders or actually do something more with this section beyond viewing upcoming listings.

It seems that the HGTV to GO team has plans to update the app consistently, and it also offers exclusives related to the new season of “Design Star.” If the app can get its memory issue sorted, it will be worth another look in the future.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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