Sling Media has added support for Chromecast through their Slingplayer app for iPhone and iPad. Chromecast allows you to send content to your TV straight from your mobile device, and Slingplayer lets you turn that around and watch TV on your mobile device.
With the two combined you can use the Slingplayer as a remote control for changing the channel, navigating the guide, or accessing the DVR connected to the Slingbox, and you can send videos to the TV via the new ‘Cast’ icon within the app. Conveniently, the Slingplayer app can run in the background so you can keep doing important things like playing Angry Birds while you watch TV.
The SlingTV unit can also be controlled with the app, like a remote in case you own one.
You can download Slingplayer on the App Store for $14.99.
Zeebox used to be an app about following your favorite TV shows and stars, chatting with like-minded fans, and enjoying the benefits of having a personalized guide to help you discover new shows. Now, well, it’s still all of that. It’s just that now we’re calling it Beamly TV.
Beamly TV is the new name and look for the older app. 24/7 updates for TV shows and actors, chatrooms you can visit to gush about your favorites (and sometimes even chat with the celebrities themselves), and so on.
You can download Beamly TV off the App Store for free.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 2nd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Known for its crude and hilarious TV shows, Comedy Central this morning released the first version of its iOS app. As goes with many other TV station apps, Comedy Central allows you to watch a huge amount of full-length TV shows – that is, if you sign in with your TV provider account. And sadly, only select partnered TV provider accounts are going to work with the app (notably, Dish Network is missing).
But if you really want to catch up on the latest episodes of The Colbert Report, South Park, and other shows, this is the app to go to. These full episodes will carry ads (even after logging in), but you won’t watch as many as if you were watching live TV. The app also features stand-up specials, archived TV show selections, and the ability to share clips with your friends.
You can get Comedy Central on the App Store for free.
A new game based on the hit action-adventure TV series MacGyver is in the works at Fairplay Media, and it’s supposedly going to take many characteristics from the well-known secret agent. Fairplay Media has been in talks with the show’s creator, Lee Zlotoff, and announced today that they’ve finally come up with a plan to bring the famed character to the mobile games space.
Not much information has been released about the game yet, but the company has posted some related artwork and says the game will simply be called “MacGyver.” Also, proceeds from the game’s art will be going to the MacGyver Foundation, according to Fairplay’s blog post. The game is due to be officially announced with more details in the coming weeks.
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Posted by Tre Lawrence on February 27th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Starting today, iOS users that subscribe to Sprout TV network will have access to the station on their mobile devices via the new Sprout NOW app. Sprout is a 24-hour network dedicated to preschoolers, and Sprout NOW is part of parent network NBCUniversal’s TV Everywhere Initiative; access authentication will be required.
Says Ron Lamprecht, EVP NBCUniversal Digital Distribution, “Sprout NOW is yet another example of NBCUniversal’s commitment to TV Everywhere, engaging viewers with quality content on multiple platforms. Sprout is now among many of NBCUniversal’s valued networks that offer content to its distribution partners and our viewers wherever and whenever they want it.”
The Sprout NOW app is available for free on the App Store.
With this one app, is Warner Bros showing that it can change with the times?
So far, you can buy and watch Gossip Girl, Big Bang Theory, or The Vampire Diaries episodes the day after they air in the US, as well as download them for offline watching, or purchase the whole season at once. The first episode of each show is free, and then will cost $2.99 for standard definition, or $3.99 per high definition episodes. The full season price looks to cost a bit more than iTunes, as well.
Is this Warner Brothers offering something new, or is this just another way to try and lock up your content in a separate walled garden? I’m not seeing much of an advantage to using this app over iTunes, aside from watching the first episode for free. What do you think?
App Features Include:
• Offline playback: Download episodes directly to your device to playback at anytime
• Steaming playback: Stream an episode instantly over Wi-Fi
• Multiple languages: Watch the episodes in your language of choice
• Real-time news: Live Twitter and Facebook updates
• Explore WB catalog: Browse other app editions created by Warner Bros.
• Localized audio dubs and dynamic subtitles are available in certain languages.
Gameloft has release a new poker game, Texas Poker for Prizes. This free to play game has one huge interesting twist. Just by playing the game, you have the chance to win some real world prizes — TVs, trips to Las Vegas, and more.
While that’s the hook, the game does have other things going for it. For one, when playing online you can play up to four tables at once. Very useful when you are waiting on 8 other slow players to decide their move. It also has the ability to support Airplay where the poker table can be displayed on your TV (via Apple TV) while each players hands are shown on their handheld devices in a local multiplayer game.
Posted by Jeff Scott on October 12th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Xfinity / Comcast has released a new TV Viewer app that does parts of what you would want it to do. That goes along with the other Xfinity TV app that also does parts of what you would want it to do. Sigh. Pardon me for the following only slightly applicable rant.
Comcast is in the middle of an identity crisis right now and we are forced to go along for the ride. They seem to do everything in twos now. Comcast and Xfinity cable services. Xfinity TV and Xfinity TV Player apps to watch different parts of the same catalog of streaming TV. Two different streaming services – On Demand and Streampix. And why do they own NBC?
My head is spinning. Which app do I use to watch which show? Of course then there’s Hulu, and Netflix, and….
Did I perhaps, maybe mention how awesome Sling box is?
Does an iPhone or iPad share the couch with you while watching TV? The Zeebox app wants to be your goto info app for TV info. It help by showing you what’s hot, and integrates social services to share your favorites. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.
Posted by Jeff Scott on September 10th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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.
For far too long, us multitaskers of the world have had to suffer through the indignity of having to track two entirely different screens when we want to play a game and watch TV. There has to be a better way! Now it’s possible with the 2.0 update to the official Cartoon Network app. A selection of arcade-style games based on Cartoon Network shows have been added to the app. They shine on the iPad, where in portrait mode, a video can be played on the top half of the screen, and the game played on the bottom half. Just simply rotate to landscape to watch the video in fullscreen. Users with pay TV subscriptions can log in to watch the most recent episodes of shows, and can also stream Cartoon Network live, as announced earlier in the year. It all works with AirPlay as well. Now it’s possible to be distracted while watching Adventure Time from anywhere, not just at home!
Telltale Games episodic point and click adventure series, Law and Order: Legacies came to a close with last week’s release of episode seven: “Resolution.” The game, which features fan-favorite cast members from various eras of both Law and Order and SVU follows the show’s format of splitting the roughly hour’s worth of gameplay in each episode between crime solving and courtroom action, with lots of Dick Wolf-esque cut scenes.
In keeping with the show’s based-on-real-events formula the “epic conclusion” opens with a businessman pushed to his death off of a New York bridge during an Occupy Wall Street protest. There’s a suicide note, lots of red herrings, and the finale ties the previous episodes together.
The first instalment was included with the initial purchase price of $2.99 with subsequent chapters available through in-app purchases of $2.99 each. Now to celebrate the conclusion the first episode is available as a free app download and the complete set of six additional chapters is available for a one-time $12.99 IAP.
If one’s been playing they won’t want to miss how it all wraps up, and if one is a fan of the TV shows but unfamiliar with the game, this is the best and most affordable time to jump into the crime solving drama. And, we’ll all have to wait and see if the franchise is popular enough to warrant a season two.
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Before, the Peel app from Peel Technologies was content just being a television social network. However, in addition to connecting users through their love of television shows, Peel is now looking to connect users with the shows themselves. Peel is kicking off their new “Second-Screen TV Engagement Platform” with “American Idol.”
Starting with the final few episodes of this season, Peel will be offering “American Idol” fans what they are calling a “Real-Time Social TV Experience.” Using the app, viewers will be able to cheer or boo performances, results and even the judges themselves all while watching the show. The app then collects and shares these results so one can compare what they think with the thoughts of fellow watchers.
The updated Peel app is available now for free on the App Store. To celebrate, Peel Technologies will be giving one lucky user free VIP access to the Idols Live concert this summer.
U-verse has released an app for subscribers to their TV and high-speed internet service that brings both control of their receiver, along with access to on demand video. By downloading AT&T U-verse for iPad and logging in to the user’s AT&T U-verse account, the app’s functions become available.
The app’s first function is to serve as a remote for a U-verse receiver. By setting up the U-verse receiver by turning to channel 9301 and enabling remote device access, it can then be discovered by the app. The app offers virtual remote buttons for changing the channel, rewind/fast-forward controls for recordings and live TV, pause/record buttons, and all the other basic commands available on the U-verse remote. As well, the app has an easy-access guide with the ability to quickly jump to the channel, and to record future programs easily. Receivers can be independently named and controlled, so it’s possible for multiple iPads to control different TVs in a house.
For those who have a secondary router on their network to extend their network or because of device incompatibility (AirPlay to an Apple TV has issues with the U-verse router in particular) will need to connect to the U-verse router directly, as even having both devices on the same secondary router will not work.
The app also offers on-demand video from U-verse’s on-demand selection that can actually be watched on the iPad itself. These videos can be watched anywhere, not just on the U-verse network. It ironically also supports AirPlay to a TV, which may explain just why the AirPlay protocol has issues with U-verse routers. The app does have the notable lack of any kind of live TV – especially considering that Comcast launched their own iPad app with live TV just a month ago.
Still, this app should make it much easier for U-verse users to control their TV and watch the content they want, thanks to the touch interface provided by the app. AT&T U-verse for iPad is available now.
Fanhatten already offered TV and Movie fans tons of entertainment by providing ratings, general information and then linking users to popular streaming services from iTunes, Hulu Plus and Netflix to Crackle and PBS.
Now they have updated to incorporate the hottest trend in in online news – discovery. The app is now a one-stop shop for celeb 411, reviews and streaming, but also personalized news feeds and recommendations based on social networks and predictive algorithms.
Fanhatten now boasts over 60 major entertainment publication sources including Billboard, E!, Entertainment Weekly, TMZ, Rolling Stone, and People.
But the new Fan Feed is where to find the action. The app allows users to select favorite shows, actors, even directors and brings up content that is tailored to individual taste. As users spend time with Fanhatten and add more likes, the feed gets progressively “smarter”. If friends use Fanhatten too, the app offers a social component and shared recommendations as well.
Now that the already rich content comes with discovery and social components it should not only please its own existing fans, but create a new market for people who aren’t looking to stream necessarily, but who are looking for what – and whom – to watch no matter how they access the video.
Function (X) Inc. launched the first loyalty program for television last week called Viggle. What seems like technology similar to Shazam, the fourth most downloaded app of all time, Viggle automatically identifies the show the user is watching by listening to what the characters are saying. After users launch the app and check in to their show the app awards them with points that can be redeemed later at places such as Best Buy, Burger King, Fandango and Old Navy.
Extra bonus points can be earned by watching featured shows such as “American Idol” and in-app commercials. Currently, the app awards two points per every minute watched. Most $5 gift cards to places such as Starbucks and Burger King cost 7,500 points, but right now the company is running a limited time only special for a $5 gift card to Amazon for only 4,000 points. Users can also set reminders and read detailed information on their favorite shows from within the app as well as share their check-in on Facebook and Twitter.
Amongst other things, I’m a proud Brit because of services such as the BBC. Producing quality television and radio for many decades, the BBC is an all round fantastic service to be able to access. The company is also not afraid of trying out new technology with the successful launch of its Video-on-Demand service iPlayer coming to the iPad earlier this year.
Not quite as accomplished as something like Netflix, iPlayer has enabled users to catch up on television and radio shows previously aired on a BBC channel in the past seven days. It’s the kind of thing that becomes incredibly useful for those who hardly watch a traditional TV set any more.
That’s a service that hasn’t been open to all around the world though, most notably with the omission of USA and Canada. While there’s still no sign of the USA being added to the countries supported, Canadian iOS users will be pleasantly surprised with the latest announcement. iPlayer will now stretch to 16 countries comprising of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as of this Thursday. Hopefully for USA fans, it’s just a matter of time until relevant licensing is implemented.
To further add to the excitement for users in those countries, the iPlayer app will be available to iPhone and iPod Touch users from Thursday too. No longer will users be restricted to the website as they can now use the immediately useful and free app instead.
While we’re writing about exciting news, a deal has been arranged with programme distributor DRG to supply the service with many iconic British TV shows in early 2012. These will range from the likes of Peep Show, Black Books, Green Wing, Father Ted and Shameless – all shows that I can confidently say are fantastic examples of what quality television can come out of the British isles.
As anyone with cable TV will tell you, picking what to watch isn’t as easy as it could be. While there’s always a channel guide to browse through, it’s frequently not very intuitive when it comes to finding the right show. Fortunately, Peel – Personal TV Show Guide jumps right in there and tackles that dilemma.
Kind of like an app version of Tivo, Peel – Personal TV Show Guide recommends shows according to what favorites the user adds to the system. The more the app learns about TV tastes and preferences, the better the suggestions become.
An attractive app to look at, it’s simple to flip through the colorful thumbnails of each TV show and these thumbnails can lead onto episode descriptions and other details. Perhaps most useful is that of the ability to search for any show and Peel – Personal TV Show Guide lets the user know exactly when it’s on and what channel to tune into.
Peel – Personal TV Show Guide is bound to save some time for the avid TV watcher, all the more so with Christmas coming up.
IntoNow from Yahoo! functions on the premise that watching television should be a communal experience. The app, in part, is like having SoundHound for TV. When launched, it listens to the show playing, and seeks out that specific pattern to find the specific episode being watched. Once identified, a panel opens showing how many users watched the episode, a one-line synopsis and a cast list, but only the regular cast, not guest stars.
While watching live or recorded programs, fans can chat with other users and their friends who use the service – spoiler alerts included – or check out the buzz on Twitter. For sports the app even has stats.The app is also a TV discovery tool. IntoNow’s appealing GUI and the “something new” factor could really change how people watch live and recorded TV.
The idea of the “second screen” during TV viewing has arisen recently, as TV watchers increasingly use their phones and now tablets while watching TV. An app called Umami is now available that allows users to interact with their TV shows as they’re on. Users can see social feeds from the general public and show cast members, browse information on recent episodes, and more. Some shows offer interactive elements such as polls for users to share their opinions, along with Twitter and Facebook support. The app uses audio fingerprinting recognition to detect what show is currently being watched, and to automatically pull up the correct show and episode information. This doesn’t just work with live TV; recorded shows that have recently aired can also be matched by the app. Shows can also be manually pulled up by users if they want to look up another show while not watching TV or watching something else. Umami is available now for free from the App Store.
Last week, NBC announced that their NBC app for the iPad now offers full episodes to, in effect, mirror the functionality of the NBC.com website. In addition, new features such as watching video clips, playing games and scrolling through photos were added to their companion iOS application, NBC Live. The company hopes to bring the social viewing experience to its fans through, obviously, a company branded app.
“We are thrilled to offer our fans full episodes via our NBC.com app. Now the app truly reflects the deep fan experience that we have created online at NBC.com,” said Vivi Zigler, President, NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment. “And our fans are going to love the latest update to the NBC Live app which now offers them more content, better access and a unique social television experience.”
The NBC app and NBC Live app are available for free from the App Store.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-22 :: Category: Entertainment
Not to be outdone, both TNT and TBS have also added support for full episodes, though they still are tied to app users needing to authenticate as cable subscribers. The apps, for both iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch, offer
– Full Episodes of TBS/TNT Series (after authenticating)
– Series Episode Guides
– Clips and Behind-the-Scenes Video
– Show Schedules with Reminders
– GetGlue, Facebook and Twitter Integration
While this may not be as earth shattering as the news from NBC, you can bet that we are witnessing a new paradigm in television viewing. Apparently, being able to create and control their own portal to their own television content has these companies, and no doubt others to soon follow suit, creating the cable-cord-free future we have all wanted from the outset. While the TNT and TBS offerings still require at least a financial link to cable television companies, the NBC announcement leaves no doubt that TV as we know it is changing forever.
This week at 148Apps.com, we took a first look at Garmin’s new StreetPilot onDemand app. Rob LeFebvre writes, “The app itself offers 30 days of premium features for that dollar, including multimodal pedestrian routing, bus/train schedules, spoken turn-by-turn guidance with street names, 3D representations of buildings, traffic rerouting, photoReal Junction View and Google Local Search. Once the free month is up, users can pay $2.99 monthly or $29.99 annually, with a special introductory $19.99 annual price for this first year.”
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-31 :: Category: Navigation
Meanwhile, at GiggleApps, we got the music playing with our review of Sylvester’s Band. Reviewer Amy Solomon states, “The illustrations are simply gorgeous to look at and I really appreciate how each location Henry visits has a unique landscape all its own, while maintaining the style used throughout this book, such as squared-off trees or cloud formations. I enjoy a great deal how the look of this story changes, becoming dark as the gang makes their way high into the clouds looking for William the Wolf. The details about lassoing the moon in order to bring it to the party create wonderful images that stayed with me after reading this book, my favorite moment of this story. It is also great fun the way each time Henry collects another band member they can all be seen, one by one, running to a new location. These creatures look great as well…”
148Apps.biz featured an article about tablet owners and TV viewing habits. Kyle Flanigan writes, “According to the report, some 50% of tablet owners – iPad included – watch films and TV shows on their portable device for leisure. In the words of research director Keith Nissen, “tablets, in particular, have become a primary video device, both inside and outside the home.” There are few adjectives that come to mind to describe such a high percentage: unexpected, unanticipated and unprecedented began to scratch the surface.”
And finally, AndroidRundown writer Carter Dotson announced G5 Entertainment’s first simultaneously-launched iOS and Android app, Stand o’ Food 3. “While G5 Entertainment only recently got on to the Android train, they aren’t wasting their time making sure their library of sim games are well-represented on the platform. In the past few weeks, both Supermarket Mania 2 and Virtual City have been released for Android, after their initial mobile releases on iOS.”
Most come to 148apps to learn which apps to spend their hard earned dollars on. Today I’ll mix it up, because my favorite four are apps with free video content.
Crackle, a division of Sony, adds 20 new movies and TV episodes to its app monthly. It’s 100% free and a must-have app for anyone. It’s always there for me to just whip out and watch whenever I don’t really have a preference. Some of my current favorites available are 21, The Nines, The Karate Kid I and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
SnagFilms (iPad only)
SnagFilms is an app dedicated to nothing but documentaries. While documentaries aren’t for all movie-lovers, those of us who like them will jump at the chance to have an app filled with free documentaries. The app is currently boasting over 80 films and I’m hoping for more in the future. To highlight some available, it has “A to Zeppelin” about Led Zeppelin, “Close Encounters” about the existence of aliens, “Hell on Wheels” about a group of women trying to bring back roller derby, and “MacHeads” about us Mac fanatics.
ABC Player (iPad only)
The ABC Player is a free app dedicated to catching up on various ABC shows. As far as I know, all shows available to watch on their website are accessible on the iPad app. This is an awesome app for anyone who’s a fan of at least one show on ABC. Currently, some popular shows on the app include Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy.
While TED talks aren’t movies or TV shows, they’re definitely free video content – arguable the best free video content available online. It’s arguable because to say otherwise would be to argue with me! I love TED talks. Basically, they are talks almost any subject imaginable delivered by field experts. Some of my favorites include one from Adam Savage (Mythbusters guy), Pattie Maes about her SixthSense device, Malcolm Gladwell about spaghetti sauce (but it’s much more general than that!), and Sal Khan about his educational video program, Khan Academy.
And it absolutely has to be noted that, we’re I living in the UK, the BBC iPlayer app would be at the top of my list for favorite free video content.
iPad owners will be excited to discover a new way of forming social connections via the fun that can be had watching TV thanks to BeeTV.
BeeTV allows users to share their favorite TV moments as they happen with their friends and others. Users are able to see what their friends are watching at the time, invite them to ‘join’ them in watching a show and see what hits are currently trending. Users in need of recommendations are also served well here with BeeTV aiding them by offering personalized recommendations based on what they’ve previously enjoyed.
The app encompasses Twitter and Facebook ensuring that it’s easy to see what’s going on at any point. Plus users can swiftly find new friends that like the same shows or films as themselves, extending friendships across the globe. Fact fans can also learn more about the show they’re watching at the tap of a button and they can receive notifications as to when their favorite shows are coming up next too.
BeeTV is a free app for the iPad and it’s available now.
“In less than 24 hours after its release, the BBC News application has shot up to #1 in the News category. It was a story about bureaucracy at its worst whenever the BBC Trust, BBC’s governing body, told their development team to shelve the iPhone application launch in the UK due to ‘uncertainty about the potential significance of whether [the BBC’s plans] constitutes a change of service.'”
Over six months have passed since the BBC went live on the App Store, and now it finally has its much needed companion, the BBC iPlayer.
The application is a dramatic improvement over its web-based predecessor, both visually and in terms of features. Three categories – Featured, Most Popular and For You – work to bring you all of the latest TV catch with minimal fuss. iPlayer focuses on Radio too, with the Radio section receiving as much attention as its TV counterpart, including the same categories. Shows can be favourited, permitting quick access to your most important media. To make a show a favourite, either hold its miniature feature from one of the three categories and drag it up to the favourites bar, or tap “Add to Favourites” and it’ll do the rest. The favourites bar is accessible via the menu bar at the bottom of the screen, or by the star at the top.
Video quality is respectable, and the application offers High Quality where available. Unfortunately, it’s all Wi-Fi only, even for Radio, meaning 3G iPad ownerswill need to resort to creative means or join a Wi-Fi hotspot before media can be viewed. Obviously, stream quality will be network dependent, but in personal tests I found the video to be smooth and consistent. Content cannot be downloaded locally, so its online viewing only.
If you’re a parent who’s concerned about adult humour making its way into children’s ears, the BBC have included a Parental Guidance PIN that requires unlocking before adult-rated content can be viewed. A secret question is included in case you forget your PIN. However, be advised, once you enter a PIN there’s no way of reversing the process, meaning you’ll have to enter it in every time you want to watch or listen to a show marked with adult humour.
iPlayer includes a search and categories section also, the latter of which groups all shows into fourteen categories, ranging from Children’s to Films to Religion & Ethics. Conveniently, the search isn’t just by name only. Typing in Jeremy revealed a number of different shows that include Jeremy in its short text synopsis. Finally, the application also features channel listings for BBC One, Two, Three, Four, CBBC, CBeebies, News and Parliament. The entire week’s listings are present, along with a short text synopsis where available.
Overall, as a free tool, iPlayer will always remained installed on my iPad, but there certainly is room for improvement. Its lack of streaming over 3G is by far the biggest disappointment, something that its competitor The Guardian allowed last month in a major overhaul. In addition, you’ll have to manually check when new shows are added (related favourites will automatically be added to your favourites bar); a push notification alert wouldn’t go amiss for specific programs. Nonetheless, iPlayer is free, and that’s something not to be taken for granted. Better some features than none in this case.
Almost everyone is absorbed in some area of pop-culture, but with so many sub genres it can be hard to keep track of what all your friends and colleagues are into. This is why it is so important to leverage your social currency. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is a communications phrase that represents shared information. Sometimes a little social currency is all you need to create a lasting friendship or even land a business promotion. Social networking is a good way to increase your social currency, and with the new app, IntoNow, you can be part of a new type of social network.
IntoNow is an app and a service that links to your Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix accounts in order to share and track your TV viewing habits. It even has a built in IMDb feature for instant access to the webs best source for movie trivia information. With IntoNow you can add shows to your Netflix Queue, get recommendations based on what your peers are watching, and discuss shows with your friends. The app will even let you know when your pals are watching the same programming as you.
Perhaps the most intruiging aspect of IntoNow is its “magic” feature that enables you to press a green button so the app can instantly find out what you are watching. This feature is supposed to work right down to what episode is on, and it is said to recognize shows that are being aired for the first time.
Even if you aren’t that into TV, IntoNow can give you a social edge during your next business luncheon or office party. The next time your boss references that obscure goat farming show you won’t be left standing with your mouth agape. The app is available for free on the App Store now.