SpiritClips from Hallmark has a star-filled history. It was founded in 2007 by filmmaker Rob Fried who produced the inspiring film Rudy and worked on the equally uplifting flick Hoosiers. Fried originally founded SpiritClips as way to showcase inspirational short films and e-video cards. In the past six years, he has grown SpiritClips into a full-fledged online movie streaming service with hundreds of family-friendly titles.
Unlike Netflix or Hulu, SpiritClips doesn't show R-rated films, movies with excessive violence, language or nudity and avoids shows with political agendas or divisive social issues. It includes Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, The Dove Foundation-approved content and classic feel-good movies like Good Will Hunting.
The UI of the iPad app has a Netflix look and feel with scrollable rows of movie tiles that are organized by film type and genre. When you tap on a tile, you can read a description of the movie or TV show. The description provides you with the plot overview and the length of the flick. There's also a list of related movies if you are in the mood to browse.
Movie playback was solid on WiFi and occasionally choppy on cellular, with poor signal quality pausing the movie intermittently. The app has the standard suite of basic playback controls and a toggle to watch the movie in full-screen or letterbox mode. The biggest feature missing from the app is the ability to pick up watching where you left off. Once you stop a movie, you have to manually scroll back to where you stopped. There's also no way to mark a movie as a favorite or set it aside to watch it later. These are critical features, so hopefully they show up in a future update.
SpiritClips from Hallmark is for the movie or TV fan who wants to watch heartwarming films on their iPad. The SpiritClips app is available for free, but it requires a subscription. You can sign up and get a free week of access to the service. A yearly, unlimited subscription costs US$35.99, while the monthly option will set you back $4.99.