redbox_720After a few months of pre-release hype, the Redbox Instant by Verizon app and service has gone live. Currently offered in a beta release, one must sign up for an access code to get in on the streaming movie service. I added my name to the list a few weeks back, and recently received a code. After setting up my account, I have spent a day playing with the new Android app.

redbox_app_screen2It’s immediately obvious that this is not the Netflix-killing service that some might be expecting. Just a quick glance at the “subscription” movies tells you that you don’t get the same stuff that you can grab at a kiosk. That’s alright, however, as the monthly subscription fee includes 4 DVD rentals from the red kiosks.

Is it worth another for access to the other movies? At first blush, it feels as if it might be… but only for a short while. Once I exhaust the list of stuff that I care about then I suspect that Redbox Instant will end up as diminishing returns. Simply put, this is like comparing the difference in Netflix streaming versus getting physical discs.

The app itself is quite nice and works well for users looking to hunt down a nearby Redbox kiosk.


Using GPS, the app can tell you where the nearest locations are and even let you browse the currently available movies. Want to reserve a DVD or Bluray?  That’s pretty easy stuff with this app. Then again, the other Redbox app made these things rather simple, too.

One of the features I most liked was being able to quickly see what movies I’ve bookmarked and finish watching films.  What’s more, the reminder tab should be a handy tool to let you know that you’ve got to take back that copy of The Lincoln Lawyer back before you end up owning it outright.

If there’s one bit of advice I would recommend to users, especially in the beta stages, it is to set up your full account online. The app itself is not all that difficult but it’s much easier to put in all your details with a full keyboard and mouse.

Note that reviews and comments in the Google Play Store advise against trying this on rooted devices. Perhaps this will get ironed out over time or once the service is publicly available.


What We Liked

  • Service includes 4 DVD rentals
  • Reminders to return movies and games
  • Full account management
  • Does not require a Verizon handset or service plan

Room for Improvement

  • More ‘quality’ movies in subscription service
  • Alerts for new subscription movies

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