updated 11:55 am EST, Wed February 16, 2011
Bypasses regional iTunes limitations
Warner Bros. has taken the unusual step of launching "App Editions" of some its movies. The only titles on the App Store so far are Inception and The Dark Knight, but each is a universal app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and presents the option of either downloading the movie or streaming it over Wi-Fi or 3G. Included with each app is a collection of DVD-like extras, such as videos, games, music and wallpaper.
Although the apps themselves are free, access to all content -- including streaming or downloading the movie -- costs $12 for Inception or $10 for The Dark Knight, equivalent to prices on the iTunes Store. Warner specifically cites Apple's regional iTunes limitations as a reason for creating apps. Whereas countries like China, Brazil and the Netherlands still don't have access to access to the iTunes Movie Store, they do have access to the App Store.
Some other features of the apps include Facebook and Twitter integration, and free viewing of the first five minutes of a movie. Menus can be displayed in one of 16 languages, while subtitles are available in 34. Warner Bros. is promising a "full slate" of App Editions in 2011.