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Crackle for iOS review: Free movies and TV, but ads annoy

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As far as movies are concerned, most of what Crackle offers are titles that are likely on rotation on basic cable networks. This means you have a good chance of finding something worth watching, but you're not going to find anything terribly new. Still, the selection is worth browsing, as it does cover quite a few genres. Also, it's worth noting that movies are available only for a specific period of time, with about five months being the average.

Sifting through Crackle's content is fairly simple, as you can sort videos by most popular, featured, or recently added. Otherwise, you can browse through genres, like Comedy, Crime, Drama, and Anime. As easy as it is to navigate, though, I do have a couple of issues with the interface. For one, there is no search function, which means there's no easy way to look for a specific title, actor, or director. Second, touching a movie or TV show title to get more information brings up a brand-new page instead of a lightbox-style overlay. This can get annoying because you have to then press Back to return to the list of movies you were browsing through.

The Watchlist is a useful feature for keeping track of programs you want to watch. There's even a page with recommended Watchlists that you can add, either piecemeal or as a whole, to your own queue. While these lists aren't exactly filled to the brim with Best Picture nominees, it is nice that there is some curated content for you to sift through.

While they may be necessary to fund a free movie service, the ads can be pretty frustrating. When you start a show, you'll need to watch an ad before seeing the opening credits. When the intro to the show is over, you may watch another ad. Crackle doesn't plan the timing of the ads either, so sometimes an ad will start at inopportune moments, pulling you out of the viewing experience. As I said, I understand that it may need ads, but there must be a better way to do it.

Still, it's hard to argue with free movies and TV shows that you can watch anywhere. Crackle is great for finding something to watch in a pinch, but hopefully it will have search capabilities and better timing of ads in future updates.

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