Shark Week Live iPhone app a handy chum to the TV celebration

Aug 1, 2011
TV

The future of apps and TV appear to be totally interconnected, at least if the Shark Week Live app is any indication. While there have been other apps that interact with your TV directly, like the Xfinity iPad app that lets you watch OnDemand programming or view the on-screen guide right on your iPad screen, […]

The future of apps and TV appear to be totally interconnected, at least if the Shark Week Live app is any indication.

While there have been other apps that interact with your TV directly, like the Xfinity iPad app that lets you watch OnDemand programming or view the on-screen guide right on your iPad screen, I haven’t seen an app that acts as a complement to TV programming the way Shark Week Live does.

During the Shark Week programming on the Discovery Channel (the week of July 31st from 8 PM EST to 11 PM EST), the Shark Week Live app dispenses trivia questions, additional photos, and “Did you know?” style facts based around the programming being shown on the actual channel. The trivia acts as a social game as well, where each player is ranked both for the current episode of whatever you’re watching, and “all time” for the current Shark Week.

There is also a chat function that lets you post live comments to others using the app. Any #sharkweek tweets are also pulled into the chat function, which actually is a bit frustrating as it becomes hard to have a conversation with actual users on the app when endless #sharkweek tweets interrupt the flow of conversation.

But even that chat snafu isn’t much of a problem, because the chatting itself feels like a mild bonus to the real content that the app dispenses during the Shark Week programs. Watching a scene of a seal being mauled by a shark followed by the app popping out a close-up high-res picture of a seal with labels pointing out its various body parts and functions is brilliant.

The biggest disappointment with Shark Week Live is that it’s only useful during the Shark Week programming. Once the live programming stops, there’s not really a reason to use the app unless you want to chat into the deep blue abyss with other Shark Week fanatics.

Aside from a lack of opportunity to use it, the Shark Week Live app is the ultimate connection of information between apps and TV shows. It is both startlingly useful while also offering a glimpse at what the future of our entertainment consumption could be. If only every app aspired to be like Shark Week Live.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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