60Hz, the TV tracking app we’ve previously covered, has received a massive update to version 4.0 today, introducing a completely redesigned interface and many new features to help you find new shows and keep track of your current library.
While version 3 maintained much of the same functionality as version 2 with a fresh coat of paint on top, the newest release has rethought the entire application completely with great results.
While previous versions of 60Hz focused on fitting as much information as possible into the main screen, version 4 takes a new approach by breaking up key features across several tabs. The first tab is the smart queue view, which presents a list of episodes you should watch next in order to keep up with your favorite shows. This list takes a number of factors besides airdate into account, such as which shows you’ve watched more often and which ones you’ve watched more recently.
Second up on the tab bar is the calendar view. If you used older versions of 60Hz, you’ll find this screen a bit familiar. Unlike the smart queue, the calendar tab presents you with a straightforward list of what’s airing in the near future. You can also scroll back to see recently aired episodes.
The calendar screen is also where you go to adjust your notification settings. A button in the upper-right corner pulls up a page of options that let you determine when you get notified about upcoming episodes (with choices ranging from an hour beforehand to a full day after), and which shows you get notified for.
Both the queue and the calendar screen allow you to see more details about a given episode or series. You can tap on an episode in the list to expand it, which gives you a synopsis of that episode and a host of options for sharing, checking in on Trakt, rating, or viewing series info. From the series page you can add a show to your library (or remove it), get a link to buy the show on iTunes, read comments from viewers, or see a list of past episodes.
The third tab opens your library. This is where you normally go to add or remove shows from your Trakt account. The Trakt integration in 60Hz 4.0 is actually a bit more creative than that of most other apps. While most software will simply import your entire catalog of shows, 60Hz allows you to selectively add or remove shows without altering your Trakt account. That means you can exclude shows that have ended without actually deleting them from your Trakt history.
On your first run of the app, you’ll be asked to login to Trakt and choose which shows you want to keep track of. After the initial setup, you can return to this screen at any time by choosing the Trakt icon in the upper-right corner of the library tab and choosing “Import from Trakt library.” The import selection screen makes things easy by separating shows into categories like “recently watched” and “continuing shows” to help weed out cancelled series. You can delete shows using the trash can button in the left corner on the main library view.
If you want to add a show that doesn’t already exist in your Trakt account, there’s a very easy way to do this. At the top of every tab in the app is a search bar. This can be used to search your local shows as well as the entire collection of shows available on Trakt. Tapping on any show takes you to the usual series detail page, which allows you to add it to your library.
The featured tab includes curated lists of shows you might enjoy. Some examples include a list of shows with cult followings (Arrested Development, Firefly, Lost), shows that are perfect for binge watching (Game of Thrones, Dexter, Homeland), and more.
The final tab is where you’ll find your Trakt watchlist. You can keep track of shows that you want to watch at some point in the future here.
After spending several weeks with the app, I’ve only had a handful of issues with it. One of the bigger problems I’ve found with the app is that it sometimes crashes when doing basic activities, like searching. The crashes don’t seem to be recurring problems, just something that crops up on occasion, so while they’re a bit annoying, they aren’t actually detrimental to your ability to use the app.
One other issue that may present a bit more of a problem is the notification sound. In the initial release of the app, the notification sound is too quiet to be heard if your phone is in your pocket, or even just across the room in some cases. The developers have assured me that they are considering a fix for a future version.
A few other additions have also been promised for future versions of the app. At present there’s no Today widget for Notification Center, but the developers have already started work on one and expect to debut it in version 4.1 shortly. There’s also no Apple Watch app, though the creators are considering adding support for that in a future update as well.
Regardless of those issues, 60Hz is a massive upgrade over the previous version of the app. The redesigned interface has greatly simplified a number of interactions that were unclear or confusing in older versions while features like Trakt syncing and notification settings have seen big enhancements. New discovery features make it easier to find shows to pick up, and the smart queue helps you find time to watch the shows you care about most.
Because this is essentially a completely new app, there will be a small charge for the upgrade.
New and old users alike will be able to get 60Hz 4.0 for just 99¢ today only. The cost will increase to the permanent price of $3.99 tomorrow, and it’s well worth the money if you’re looking for a solid TV tracker app. 60Hz is universal with full support for the iPad (and landscape on the iPhone), so you’ll only need to buy it once to run it across all of your iOS devices.
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