Fall TV season has started, and with it, there are tons of new shows to fall in love with and add to our schedules. Unfortunately, TV viewing is increasingly becoming a logistics problem of its own. You could watch a show live, or the day after on Hulu, or on iTunes, or Amazon… or wait eight days until it pops up on an iPad app. Or a few more months, and it will be on Netflix. But when exactly will that be? And how the heck can you keep track of the things you’ve already watched?
Luckily, there are now plenty of tools that help you solve those problems. These are some of the best:
Nextguide wants to be the TV guide for the iPad generation, and allows you to track shows across live TV as well as online sources like Netflix (S NFLX) and Hulu. Nextguide replaces the traditional TV guide grid with a show-centric view, and offers alerts for your favorite shows. DirecTV customers can also control their DVR with the app. Nextguide uses Facebook (S FB) for social recommendations, and its recently-launched website is essentially a kind of Pinterest for your TV faves. The iPad app is a bit cluttered, but the company also recently launched a new iPhone app with a clean new UI, and it’s got a list of all things fall TV on the web.
Check out some screenshots of the Nextguide iPad app below:
Yidio’s strenght is its website, cataloging current shows across the big online providers, which not only include Hulu and Netflix, but also network websites, Vudu,(S WMT) iTunes (S AAPL) and Amazon. Yidio also allows users to send alerts via Facebook, Twitter and email when new episodes of their favorite shows are available, which is pretty handy. The service has its own iOS app that indexes videos across 16 different sources and that is generally clean and functional, but the UI isn’t optimized for the iPad yet.
Check out some screenshots of Yidio’s iPad app below:
(select Android phones and tablets)
Peel’s Android app doubles as a remote control for your TV: The app is exclusively available to users of certain Android HTC and Samsung phones as well as Android tablets made by Samsung, all of which feature build-in IR blasters to turn your channels and control your set-top box. Peel’s app offers live TV listings as well as listings of streaming episodes from Netflix. Hulu Plus is unfortunately still missing, but the company is promising to add additional content providers soon.
Check out a screenshot of Peel’s Android tablet app, courtesy of Google Play, below:
Fan, formerly known as Fanhattan, is by far the best-looking app to find episodes of your favorite shows across video services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon (S AMZN) and more than two dozen other video platforms. Fan TV allows users to add shows to a watchlist and then get alerts via email and its mobile app when new episodes become available, but some of the UI bells and whistles stand in the way of usability. Tracking episodes that you have already watched is possible, but not as easy as it should. You can find Fan’s fall TV guide here.
Check out some screenshots of Fan’s iPad app below:
TVGuide.com may not be the best-looking of the bunch, but the site’s personalized watchlist does its job, letting you track when your favorite shows are on TV and where to watch episodes online. Plus, this watchlist actually lets you add sports teams as well, which is a nice bonus for all you sports fans out there. Users are reminded of their shows through a daily email. TV Guide also has apps for iOS and Android, but no real optimization for tablets.
Check out a fe screenshots of the TV Guide iPad app below:
These were just five apps and services, but there are many others out there. Trakt is closely aligned with media center solutions like Plex and XBMC, Twee has gotten a lot of love from the Android crowd and TeeVee is a pretty sweet-looking app for iPhone users, just to name a few. Are you using any other apps that we may have missed? Feel free to add them in the comments!