Little Review for the New Funimation App for PS4
Let me just state that I am FULLY open to change when it comes to... well generally everything. Even when places like YouTube that change, I am open to it even when everyone is freaking out as if it's Doom and Gloom. However, I feel this new change with Funimation is... bad... Specifically fro the console app for the PlayStation 4. I feel it has significantly downgraded from how it was before the change. Here's my honest review of the new App.
Let's start with the VERY first issue I had with the App after the Update, the Account Information. You know, the Username and Password, or in Funimation case, the E-Mail and Password... I hate the way we're forced to include a "Special Text" that isn't a Capital Letter, Lower Case Letter, and a Number. I get that they do it so we can make a secure Password, but when you already force us to require 3 different texts already, why do we need any of the following ( ~`!@#$%^&*():;"'<,>.?/ ) afterwards? Okay, so maybe you're fine with the small change, let's talk about actually logging in and how they made something that should feel simple and easy almost feel like a chore. Now normally when you write text on a PS4, you get a pop-up keyboard to appear on your screen. It's used on just about everything, and it was most certainly used before the update. So what's being used? Why Funimation's own Typing Text box that disappears everytime you hit the D-Pad up on the top row. It may not sound bad, but when you spend so much time getting used to one specific type writer, you are mentally attuned to stick with that mindset. And everytime you input the icons to change to Capital Letters or switch to Numbers, the highlight always goes to "A" which is on the top of the type writer, meaning you are going to hit Up on the D-Pad because instinctively that's what you do and have been doing since the Launch of the PS4. I seriously do not know why this new type writer was implemented for a Console App, when the Console already has one. It wasn't necessary and it caused me to have much issues that should of never happened.
The other issue I have is the home page is SERIOUSLY LACKING!!! I am disappointed, how did we go from "Look at all these listings of Anime we stream" to "Here's 3 Anime we got, a row of your Queue, and on the far right, brand new episodes of Anime that may interest you"? There is little to no advertisement regarding popular Anime that's being hosted on Funimation, and that's kind of sad. A lot of Anime I never thought I'd honestly watch was watched just by the old Home page. Sure it at least has a listing for "Simuldubs" which is nice, but the first thing I see is primarily what I've already Queued. Why can't I see long popular shows as well as new shows that I haven't Queued yet on the Home Page? It's lacking, and it almost feels empty which you know isn't right for Funimation who has been licensing and dubbing shows for years. Okay maybe you're fine seeing your Queue first on the Home Page, but what about watching the Anime I want? Well if you can get by with the first issue I stated, the Search is fine, and you can still choose between watching a Subbed Anime or Dubbed. But that right there leads to my next rant.
Why in God's name was the Anime Dubs merged with the same episodes as the Subbed? I'm sorry but that was a HORRID move to do as it makes finding Dubbed episodes a chore for some Anime, in my case, One Piece. Before the update, if you wanted to watch either a Subbed or Dubbed anime, all you had to do was go to the top tabs and hit either "Subbed" or "Dubbed," and all the episodes you would have the content on which you've requested. Now it's no joke that One Piece has a lot of Episodes to a point saying "It has a lot of Episodes" is an understatement. So why is this new way a problem? Well unlike traditional Anime that gets a new Dub by Funimation, One Piece has to wait until the next Volume releases locally. It was only last month that they finally concluded Marine Ford and the next episode waiting to be dubbed is the 2-year time skip. What makes this problematic is how will you find the right episode when it's finally released? Before the change, all you really had to do was go to the final episode, and scroll to the last moment you witnessed. Now, we have to look through the seasons and episodes just to find where you left off. Because when new Dub episodes of One Piece releases on Funimation, it's probably going to take you to the literal last episode. So you'll have to remember exactly what season you left off and just try to find the right episode just to see the new episode you left off. That is WAY too much work than it needs to be. I'll admit the whole "Season Listing" is a good idea, and some people are going to prefer it, but in a case of watching new Dubbed episodes, it's a hassle.
Final rant, and I think this is what REALLY kills it for the new Funimation App for the PS4. The loading is EXTREMELY Slow. It takes nearly a minute for one thing to load. Okay maybe I'm over exaggerating a bit, but there's no denying it takes its sweet time to load everything. From the Home Page, the Anime Posters, episode image, you name it and I can guarantee it'll need to load. Even before you log in the App, you have to load the App. So even though you have to wait to load the whole App, you still have to wait for more loading for small things when you're finally on. I remember before the update, you hit Funimation, wait about 5 maybe 10 seconds and you're on the home page. Here you might as well be eating pop-corn while it loads to the home menu, and eat more just to pick an Episode of Dragon Ball Super. By then you're probably already eating Kernels. But I hear what someone may be saying, "How do you know it's not you?" Good question, maybe it is just me. But I still find it a worthy rant to be mentioned because this is an issue I didn't experience before the change. And even though I have to wait to pick an episode of Dragon Ball Super, the wait I experience from Episode listing to play is non-existent. So if I have to wait for the Menu to load icons but instantly enjoy a show the moment I pick an episode, that kind of leads me to believe this isn't a problem on my part. I could be wrong, maybe it is a problem on my part. Maybe Google Fiber isn't fully functioning like it should. All I'm saying is I didn't experience any of this before the change.
Now I'm not saying that I want Funimation to just change back to the old layout. I do however feel that this new look needs much improvement. I don't like how it is currently, it feels... off. And I'm glad that I tried this new look with a Trial which I was surprised to even receive as I've been a Funimation Member for quite some time and have subscribed a few times. That being said, I'm probably going to cancel my subscription just simply because of how App is now. If someone reads this that is able to get contact with the team that works on these Apps, tell them that much improvement is needed for the PS4 version. And if there was one change that I would want to see happen, it's the loading. If that gets fixed alone, I may deal with all the other rants and get over it. But the loading it suffers needs to be dealt with.