The Netflix app receives an update and makes it easier to watch episodes of your favorite TV shows, back-to-back, without having to manually start the next episode. The app now cues up and starts the next episode for you. The update also adds a list of the three best movie recommendations that is displayed at the end of a movie, and "enhanced second screen options," whatever that is.
CBS announced today a second screen app that will let you connect with all CBS shows while watching them. It's iPad-only, but it offers aggregated Twitter and Facebook chats across the CBS daytime, primetime, and late-night shows, as well as fully synced second screen features for shows like CSI, Hawaii Five-0, and NCIS: Los Angeles, with more on the way.
The app’s second-screen features include:
· The opportunity to take a deeper look at elements of an episode which play a key role in the story but may only appear on screen for a split second
· Episode-specific insights and anecdotes provided by the shows’ creative teams
· Behind-the-scenes access for each episode, such as photos, videos and maps
· Spotlights on key locations and sets, like the NCIS: LOS ANGELES Ops Center
· The ability to easily follow and track social comments from the shows’ stars and creative talent
Rdio, one of my favorite streaming music services, has just updated its iOS app with a new interface, the ability to sync music across devices and apps, and--excitingly--a second screen feature that lets you control other Rdio apps (like the one on your computer, for example) from your iOS device. So cool!
Discover your next favorite song with Rdio, a service for streaming unlimited music—on-demand and ad-free—on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. With over 18 million songs available and more added every week, you can immediately listen to popular hits, new releases and old favorites. When you’re in the mood to hear something new, follow friends, artists and tastemakers and let their favorites find their way to your ears. Build a playlist—solo or in collaboration with friends—then sync everything to your device for offline listening.
One of our favorite second screen apps, NextGuide has been updated to add Amazon Prime videos to its catalog. This comes in addition to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. A solid update. Here's the full update info:
Introducing the latest version of NextGuide, with new content, improved user experience, and tons of tweaks based on user feedback! Thanks everyone!
>> Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant support! Now browse from Amazon's huge streaming TV and Movie library in addition to live TV, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes!
>> New Gestures - two-finger swipe within showcards, pinch to hide, fullscreen media gallery, and more!
>> Enhanced Cast & Crew with 1-click saved searches and Wikipedia biography lookups.
>> New Category Editor with easy drag & drop category setup
>> Channel Setup now part of Initial Setup Wizard
>> Improved "Your Picks" algorithms
>> Lots of other little new features for you to explore throughout the app
>> Performance improvements, bug fixes, and bears, oh my!
NextGuide was released last week and it looks to be a great way to find TV shows, both from your cable provider, and online. This includes sources like Netflix and Hulu. You can create a custom guide page for any subject you choose - for me that would be "storage auction shows" or "gold miners" or maybe just Kardashians. Take a look and let us know what you think.
At Microsoft’s E3 press conference, they revealed an interesting new feature that will integrate smartphones and tablets to the Xbox 360. Called SmartGlass, this is designed to operate a second screen during games, movies, and TV shows. This means that hypothetically, a game could display a map on the tablet screen, or even integrate interactive game elements like maps and play-calling in sports games.
TV shows and movies will be able to provide supplemental information and features with SmartGlass as well. Game of Thrones was mentioned specifically as an application of SmartGlass. In fact, that may be the killer app for SmartGlass, considering that there’s no way to understand what’s going on in the show without consulting the internet! SmartGlass will also be able to control the upcoming Internet Explorer for Xbox.
Despite Microsoft trying to make their own imprint on the tablet market with Windows 8, SmartGlass is going to be platform-agnostic, with apps for iOS and Android, with support for both phones and tablets. This shows that Microsoft is a very segmented company, with their Xbox division potentially removing a valuable reason to get a Windows 8 device, as well as the fact that these non-Microsoft operating systems are so prominent that Microsoft has to play ball with them. No release date for SmartGlass is available yet, but it will likely be part of the fall Dashboard updates that Microsoft releases.
The "second screen" experience is still something being figured out by app developers, and a new app is ready to play ball to try and dominate their opponents. Fanatix hopes to integrate social features with live sports results to let its users track events while watching them more efficiently, and to be able to chat with friends also watching. The app aggregates tweets about the game, offers a Fan Stream that's a wall of Fanatix users chatting with each other, and a Group Chat of a user's friends to chat within themselves.
The app can connect with Facebook to log in, and to bring together friends who are interested in a given event's involved teams. It features iOS 5 Twitter account integration, a feature still sorely lacking from many apps, to let users tweet about the game they're tracking from within the app. Users can also check-in to events to say that they're watching them, attending them, or just tracking the match. The app appears to be built by non-Americans and/or soccer fans as the home team is displayed on top and in front of the visiting team, which is reverse of how American sports list teams: Visting at Home. It's a curious wrinkle. The app still tracks red-blooded American sports like baseball, though. The app is available now for free.
If your love of the String Dance, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and NBA Mascots Who Should Never Dunk knows no bounds then you'll be pleased to know that TBS has launched the brand new Team Coco app for the iPad. The app will feature full episodes of Conan, as well as bonus behind-the-scenes footage, video clips, and a full schedule of what guests will be appearing on upcoming episodes.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the Team Coco app is the inclusion of a sync feature which allows the app to function as a second screen for the show. While watching an episode fans can grab exclusive content and join the conversation surrounding the show in real-time. It's the perfect companion for those who can't get enough of the gangly redhead.
We'll be interested to see what other late night shows consider a similar app, or if this remains largely the domain of Conan. Such an app likely wouldn't work well for Leno or Letterman since they largely play to an older audience. Younger hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon have a limited app presence, but nothing quite the scale of Team Coco. In any case, kudos to Conan for being the first out of the gate with this.