AT&T recently launched the U-verse app for the iPhone 4. It is an application that allows customers to browse the TV guide, set favorite shows so you see them quickly, set DVR recordings, and watch SELECT recorded shows. iPhone 4 users can utilize the app when connected to a 2G, 3G, or Wi-Fi network. There have been mixed reviews of the product as indicated by a two and a half star rating out of 5 stars in Apple's App store. For most, what the app is able to do in connecting to the DVR and their U-verse package is acceptable; it is what the app does not do that leads to most of the negative comments. The question is, will AT&T take any action to move the app toward the 4-5 Star rating?
First, let's review some positives about the AT&T U-verse mobile application. From almost all accounts the app does exactly what it says it is going to do. Over a 2G or 3G network iPhone4 users can access the TV Guide and set and manage their home DVR, which is very cool. There have been a few that have said a recording they set didn't work but since the recent app update that seems to be a rare occurrence. Furthermore, people have raved about the downloadable content from the AT&T U-verse application. On the iPhone 4 the quality of the videos are impeccable and they do not take too long to download with a Wi-Fi connection. So the app delivers as promised, but why the low rating?
There are a few major complaints about the application that are universal across the board for users. While the app itself is free, to actually access downloadable content an iPhone 4 user must also be signed up for a U300 U-verse package or better. The U300 package is selling for $82 a month without HD channels. If a customer has any package less than the U300 they will not be able to download any shows to their iPhone. Also, the shows that are available for download are the choice of AT&T. It is not live streaming television, or even shows that have been recorded on the users' home DVR. Many are upset that they can't watch the shows they recorded and insist this is the main issue AT&T should address. Finally, recorded shows are only available for download over a Wi-Fi network. Just like FaceTime, iPhone 4 users cannot use what would be a popular app because it is tethered to Wi-Fi. The bandwidth requirements are understandable but are they enough to keep the ratings low?
The AT&T U-verse mobile app seems to be a good, but not great, mobile application. The app does what is expected of it but does not deliver exactly what people are looking for. It is useful for managing your home DVR from the iPhone. However, if someone is looking to watch live streaming television or the shows they have recorded this is not the app to do it. Perhaps some of the army of iPhone 4 testers are fine tuning a full featured app right now?
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