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What we think of Apple's "Planet of the Apps" so far

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After Apple’s long-expected TV show debut is now a fact and the first episode of ‘Planet of the Apps’ is already available to watch (for free!), we have decided to take the time and give you our own piece of mind on it. The episode certainly provokes interest, as it offers a unique for most people perspective on how the app ecosystem functions; but does have a few weak points, in terms of general flow and sequence of events – it doesn’t feel ‘Apple-smooth’ just yet.

The idea behind the format is quite original and executed in an understandable and digestible form, even for people who have no tech background whatsoever. Pre-selected app developers get to present their app concepts in front of a panel of four judges, which is constituted of musician will.i.am, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Each participant gets 60 seconds to pitch their app idea to the judges and then pick one of them as their advisor for the development of the business, should that judge have okayed the idea in the first place. The show then follows the process the advisor and the developer(s) go through while building the app into a solid business.

So far, so good. The varied profile of the judges makes for an interesting and diverse discussion after they’ve heard an idea, which gives viewers relatable and understandable insight into the industry. The ladies, of course, play the ‘sweethearts’ in the panel, whereas Gary and will.i.am play the ‘poker face’, hard line, bad cops. The show runs only on a skeleton of a script and this becomes clear, as we trace the general flow of events in the first episode. The flow and smoothness you would expect from such a production is a bit distorted here, and might leave you with the impression that some takes were shot literally ‘on the go’.

We can see why Apple has taken such a course of action, though – the unscripted timeline and the short random behind the scenes moments make the viewer feel as part of the whole thing. There isn’t anything too glamorous about the setting or the behavior of anyone involved, which makes the whole narrative a lot more natural, compared to some other TV shows. The picture is clean from graphical clutter or extra effects, and benefits from many dynamic shots that mix well with the still frames.

The wildly different apps that were presented in the first episode, ranging from a Tinder alternative to quite unique AR concepts, make us believe that we are in for quite a treat in the next 9 episodes of the show. A reality show that gives customers an insight of this industry and weekly shots of Jessica Alba’s smile is undoubtedly unique and original, and we can’t see why it shouldn’t become popular with iTunes subscribers.

‘Planet of the Apps’, being Apple’s debut TV show, may not necessarily appeal to all tastes. The first episode of the show, however, suggests that Cupertino is serious with its TV content push, even though it may be lacking a bit of flow. It does have potential to turn into a favored show by many Apple fans and tech enthusiasts alike, but we shall wait and hear what people think of it a few Tuesdays from now.

You can watch the full episode on iTunes, Apple Music and at PlanetoftheApps.com

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