Feb 15, 2012
While many of us are familiar with watching YouTube clips on our smartphones and tablet computers, there is a whole new generation of video and entertainment applications for us to explore. Whether you are looking for videos that your friends and contacts share, or you want to see summarized clips from the major networks, or even if you are interested in getting rewarded for sitting on your couch and watching the boob tube, we have some must-see recommendations for you.
So pass the virtual remote and download any or all of these apps right away.
We have told you in the past about one of our favorite apps, Flipboard, which beautifully showcases news and magazine articles shared by your friends and contacts from leading social networks. Showyou does the same thing for video entertainment, curating a personalized stream of videos based on your interests. The free app is divided into a series of Grids, which segment videos by overall popularity, individuals and broadcasters you choose to follow, and videos shared by your Facebook and Twitter contacts. The benefit of Showyou is that it displays sharp teaser images of every video in all of your streams, and it organizes them either by popularity or reverse-chronological order. You will likely be exposed to videos that you might overlook on other channels. Users with iOS devices and second generation Apple TVs can also watch videos from the app on the big screen with Apple's AirPlay wireless connectivity service. Note to Android users: Showyou currently can only run on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet computer.
Touchtv (iPad Free)
To get a great glimpse of how the major broadcasters are experimenting with distributing content on mobile devices, check out this wonderfully organized iPad application. Touchtv pulls short video clips from approximately 40 media partners in the news, sports and entertainment arenas, ranging from ESPN to CBS to the Travel Channel. One of the knocks of the app is that it does not provide live programming from all the networks all the time -- that would be a nice trick for a free app that has little-to-no ads. Also, you get the feeling that this app is just scratching the surface and will soon offer a lot more content. Even today, it is worth downloading and watching daily, particularly if you've "cut the cord" and no longer rely on your cable or satellite provider to watch TV.
IntoNow (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android Free)
Using sound/voice-recognition technology that is similar to that of apps like Shazam and SoundHound, IntoNow recognizes what television programs you are watching (oftentimes even during a commercial!), displays background information of the program, and shares your viewing status with friends that also have the app installed. Yahoo acquired IntoNow last year, and Apple named it one of the iPad's best social networking apps of 2011.
Fanhattan (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Free)
Another app that combines video entertainment with social networking, Fanhattan is an app-based search engine for television shows and movies. It also recommends films and programs based on what you say you like and what your friends are watching. Users can also watch previews and rent or purchase content from iTunes and VUDU.
Viggle (iPhone, iPod Touch Free)
This is an app that all of us couch potatoes have been waiting for! Viggle uses similar technology to IntoNow to identify what shows you are watching at any given time. Users who "check in" to their favorite shows over time will get rewarded with coupons from the likes of Amazon, Starbucks and Fandango.Via[chicagotribune]