As December approaches, it would normally be almost time to head out to the local newsagents to pick yourself up TV guide. But wait - aren't we living in the digital age? There are lots of iPad and iPhone TV guide apps in the iOS App Store, so you don't need to head out into the blustery cold to pick one up. Instead, you can download your TV guide within seconds and turn over to the cheesy Christmas movies without missing a minute.

First up there's TVGuide, from TVGuide.co.uk. The app, available for iPad or iPhone, gives you an easy-to-read grid that lets you see what's on for the upcoming week. You can sort and select channels to customise it to your preferences, and, if you've got an internet-connected Samsung TV, you can even use the app as a remote.

We particularly like the 'Upcoming Films' feature, which shows all of the films that'll be playing over the next week. You can also find recommendations and mark shows as favourites.

In addition to the general TV Guide, there's also a TV Guide for Sky and TV Guide for Virgin Media, which are already customised to suit the channels available to customers of each service.

TV Guide for Sky has Sky Remote Record, while TV Guide for Virgin has Virgin TiVo Remote Record and Series Record.

If you've got Freeview, there's an official Freeview TV Guide app for iPad and iPhone that shows what's on for the next seven days. It has personal recommendations and top picks, but it doesn't have the option to see only movies, or documentaries, or drama, for example.

Sky customers can make use of the Sky+ app, which lets users browse what's on and then set their Sky+HD box to record shows they choose. Sky+ has recommendations and a search feature.

Similarly, Virgin Media has the Virgin TV Anywhere app for TiVo customers, which lets you watch live TV from your iPhone or iPad, and also lets you set recordings while out and about. It acts as a comprehensive TV guide, too, and can also be used as a remote control.

Another TV Guide app that could come in handy for iPhone users is the TV Guide from tv24.co.uk.

With this app, users can see what's on TV up to 14 days ahead, and get automatic reminders if a new episode of a show they follow is due to air. There's a movie guide, and filters suchas Sports, Series, Fact, Kids, Entertainment and News to make it easier to see what's most suited to you.

Zeebox is another TV guide app that's a little different. It's designed to make watching TV more social, by using 'TV Rooms' that let you chat about your favourite shows. But, as well as that, it's also a good seven day TV guide that lets you bookmark episodes or series that you want to watch.

Radio Times even has its own TV guide app, so if you've got your heart set on picking yourself up a copy this might help convince you that you only need your iPad. There's a free listings app that lets you browse what's on TV in the UK, and you'll get a free 30 day trial of the premium version, which will cost you £2.99 per month if you decide to subscribe once the trial is over.

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