Warner Bros. today launched what it’s calling “App Editions” of a couple it’s highest grossing movies with the release of The Dark Knight and Inception. The app versions of these movies are free to download and give you a brief idea of what you’ll get with the paid versions. Currently, the in-app price of Inception is $11.99 and The Dark Knight will set you back $9.99. iTunes is selling the standard version of The Dark Knight for the same price, but the App Edition of Inception is $2 more. Of course you get much more content with these new versions than with the standard movie download. These App Editions are available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
According to the Warner Brothers press release, “App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards. The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.”
These new App Editions are available in 30 territories, some of which don’t currently have access to the iTunes movie section, including China, Brazil and the Netherlands. These films are also available in more than 16 different languages and come with subtitles for 34 languages as well.
Warner Brothers also includes support for popular social networking sites. “While watching the film, fans can also connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter and watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time.”
The app versions of these films also have another nice feature, they don’t take up much room on your iDevice. Both movie apps are in the 20 MB range. The standard film versions of these movies are closer to 2 GB in size. By default the apps are set to stream content to your device over Wi-Fi or 3G. You do, however, have the option of downloading the entire feature, but this requires the full size movie file. It’s nice having the option to download the film if you’re planning on being on a long flight for example. If movie studios start releasing more movie titles as apps, then you’ll be able to have a much larger movie library available on your iDevice at one time. I have so many apps on my iPhone most of the time, that I rarely have room for any movies, but I always leave enough room for Netflix though.
The App Edition of The Dark Knight is more like a DVD than a standard app. The video quality is quite good and there are plenty of extras to enjoy. Hopefully more movies will be release as apps in the future. My only real concern with concept of a movie app is how to watch it on a regular TV. The next iOS update is due to arrive quite soon and AirPlay should be able to stream any video content on an iDevice to an Apple TV when it is released. Until then, I’ll just have to be content watching these movies on a small screen. After all, it’s not like I haven’t already seen these movies before.