More than 60 percent of viewers watch TV with a computer in their laps or a mobile device in their hands. So why not use those devices to figure out what to watch next? A growing number of apps are being built to provide recommendations for users trying to figure out what to watch on TV and on their mobile devices. Here are five of our favorites:
BuddyTV got its start by building a TV news and community site, but has expanded to create mobile apps built for personalized recommendations of TV shows. By taking into account which shows viewers have checked into, as well as those they’ve rated, BuddyTV can suggest new TV shows that are airing whenever they open the app. And since it tracks viewership, it will surface shows users already have shown an affinity for when those shows are on air.
Dijit’s mobile app was launched primarily to be used as a remote control for a wide range of devices. Paired with the Griffin Beacon IR controller, Dijit can be used to control anything from your TV to your Blu-ray player to your Roku streaming media box. But in addition to the channel grid, which can be used to search and navigate what’s on TV at any given time, Dijit has added a social layer on top, allowing viewers to check in and comment on their favorite shows. It also provides social recommendations based on Facebook integration, suggesting new shows for users to watch.
While it’s not necessarily used to find or watch shows on the TV, the Fanhattan app provides a way to search for content within applications from services like Netflix and Hulu Plus on a user’s iPad or iPhone. With a universal search functionality, users can search TV shows and movies without having to jump in and out of different apps for the information they want. It also provides a wealth of cast and crew data, ratings and multimedia assets related to the content users are searching for.
While most people are looking for the best content available when they turn on the TV, some want to know when their favorite shows air. Enter Fav.tv. The startup’s iOS and Android apps offer the ability to keep track of when new episodes are airing and mark off episodes they have already watched. The app also provides news about shows from around the web, as well as the ability to share comments about shows with their friends within the app.
Yap.tv has taken a decidedly social approach to aggregating TV listings, showing its users which shows are most popular, while also letting them set favorites and see what friends are watching. Its guide is also a lot more visual than most other TV apps, highlighting cover art for each of the shows represented. Once viewers choose a show, they can take polls, see tweets from other viewers and participate in live chats as well.