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Peel Kicks Off "American Idol" Real-Time Social Experience

Posted by Jordan Minor on March 15th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad


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.



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AT&T Introduces U-verse for iPad with TV Control and On Demand Video

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 10th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad only

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 Just got More Entertaining

Posted by Lisa Caplan on February 6th, 2012

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.


Viggle Offers Free Stuff For Watching TV

Posted by Greg Dawson on January 31st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.

BBC iPlayer Expands Its Scope And Comes To iPhone & iPod Touch

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 7th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE :: Read Review »

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.

The new and improved iPlayer app will be released on Thursday but is currently already available for iPad users in the relevant region.

[Source: TheNextWeb]

Personalized TV Recommendations And More From Peel

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 29th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

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.

It's out now and it's free to download.

Yahoo's IntoNow Aims To Change How We Watch TV

Posted by Lisa Caplan on November 16th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.


Umami Brings the Second Screen to the iPad

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 10th, 2011

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.

The Future Is Now: TNT, NBC and TBS Put Full Length TV Shows in iOS Apps

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 13th, 2011

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.


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.

[Source: MacRumors]

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This Week at 148Apps: September 5-9

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 12th, 2011

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."

Read more about StreetPilot onDemand on 148Apps.com.

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..."

Read the rest of Amy's review on GiggleApps.com.

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."

Find out more by reading the full story at 148Apps.biz.

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."

Read all about it on AndroidRundown.

That's it for this week, but don't forget to check out our ever-changing lists of apps, and make sure you keep up to date on all the latest news and happenings by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. See you next week, true believer.

TV Forecast HD Review

By Kevin Stout on July 21st, 2011
TV Forecast HD is shows a calendar view of new episodes of favorite shows.
Read The Full Review »

Favorite Four: Free Video Content

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 25th, 2011

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

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.
[itmsapp: 377951542]
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.
[itmsapp: 404906625]
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.
[itmsapp: 364191819]
TED

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.
[itmsapp: 303299045]
[itmsapp: 376183339]
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.

Social Networking While Watching TV Thanks To BeeTV

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 24th, 2011

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.

BBC iPlayer Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kyle Flanigan on February 23rd, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE
The BBC releases its flagship streaming service in an iPad dedicated application.
Read The Full Review »

IntoNow: Social Networking with a Twist

Posted by Timothy Smith on February 9th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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.