Now that we’ve got al the fall gadget announcements underway, it’s time to turn our attention to another season ritual: the new TV season. Granted, this is not as definitive as it used to be, thanks to the influx of cable and specialty channels on their own schedules, but the traditional broadcast networks still tend to launch the majority of their new shows and seasons in September and October.
And what better way to keep up with all the new eye candy than with your smartphone? There are a variety of TV-listings apps out there, including Zap2It and the TitanTV programming guide, but there’s one app that has a bit of brand-name recognition, especially if you grew up in the United States in the late 20th century.
Yes, we’re taking about TV Guide. That once overstuffed little digest full of weekly listings and program log lines, printed in black-and-white on pulpy paper, has gone digital. The app is free and when you sign in, you can use it to check much more than the program grid. You can set up a Watchlist for your favorite shows, filter your listings, share your viewing habits over Facebook and Twitter and keep up with news and videos. There are versions of TV Guide Mobile for both Android and iOS.
If you get your TV piped in from a cable company, check with your carrier for any custom tablet or smartphone apps they may offer. Some of these apps include special bonus features like the ability to watch live TV and set the DVR to record shows from your phone or tablet; TiVo has an app for this, too. The major carriers with some kind of app action include:
- AT&T U-verse
- Comcast Xfinity
- Cox Communications
- Time Warner
- Verizon FiOS TV Central
Hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago we’d be sitting in traffic somewhere having an internal fit because we knew, deep down, that we forgot to set the VCR to record Deep Space Nine. Yay, technology!