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Written by Dick Ward   
Thursday, 12 November 2009

Sometimes the people in charge of tying in already popular products to their new releases get it right, and sometimes they don’t.  Fox and Universal both announced iPhone tie ins for their new movies, and while it seems like Fox is at least trying, it’s apparent that whoever’s making decisions at Universal just doesn’t get it.

Along with the release of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Fox will debut a Pop up Video like service called FoxPop.  The program, which can be run on either iPhone or PC, automatically synchronizes with the movie on the screen via audio cues and pops up with information and trivia relating to the scene at hand.  Putting this information on the phone, rather than on the screen, is a nice touch and allows one person to check out the information while anyone else in the room can watch the film without it.  FoxPop also provides Twitter and Facebook access for users inclined to network while watching a film.

Universal has a pair of apps that they’re offering, neither of which is particularly impressive.  The more useful of the two is called pocketBLU, which lets the iPhone act as a remote control for compatible Blu-ray discs.  You’ll need a network connected Blu-ray player and a WiFi network for your iPhone to connect to in order to take advantage of this.   A second app called socialBLU will allow users to access Twitter and Facebook  to talk about the movie they’re watching.  

Why Fox and Universal think an iPhone user wouldn’t just use one of the already existing Twitter or Facebook apps is a bit of a mystery.







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