TV apps and the iPhone: A thrilling combination

Aug 30, 2009

While upstarts like Clicker are pioneering ways to view television content on the web, a number of iPhone apps are available to help you follow your favorite shows on the go.

Whether you need to program your DVR or you would like a mobile version of  popular television game shows, let your iPhone become an all-in-one media mogul. The iPhone can even be turned into a remote control.


Here are some useful and fun iPhone apps to keep you abreast of programming, and bring the world of television into your hands.

Make time for TV 

i.TV has a deal with TiVo, enabling you to program your DVR home sessions from anywhere. This iPhone app is also more social than some others, indicating other community features may be on the way. Such features, coupled with remote programming options, make this a potentially all-inclusive media app.

iRentMovie can help bring Hollywood into your living room. Search and filter movies based on title, DVD or BluRay titles. Link the $2.99 iRentMovie iPhone app to your Xbox 360 or TiVo for television programming capabilities and instant viewing options.

DirecTV has made a free iPhone app that lets you search, schedule and record your favorite programs. The catch? This app is limited to DirecTV customers. If you plan your evenings around the latest episode of television programming, this will be a vital application for you.

Comcast’s free iPhone app is similar to DirecTV in that it is specific for its customer use. As a utility that offers services such as phone, Internet and cable, the Comcast iPhone app will also offer phone logs, access to address books and remote OnDemand programming management.

Remote control

XBMC Remote is worth the $2.99 price tag. Turn your iPhone into a remote for Xbox 360, Windows, Macs and AppleTV, which is handy if you have connected your computer to your television. A dangerous app, XBMC lets me control my entire media universe from my sofa.

Classic and popular games

Bob Barker is absent from The Price is Right for the iPhone, but just about everything else from this app stays true to the original series. Play from the initial bid all the way to the showcase, bidding on items and partaking in various challenges. The music and visuals enhance the experience of this game, which will run you $4.99.

Wheel of Fortune does not seem the same without Vanna White walking across the screen, but most fans of this show will still enjoy the iPhone version of the $4.99 game.  Rounds are short and sweet, making this ideal for playing while on the go.

The $0.99 American Idol game for your iPhone is just as hokey and melodramatic as the television contest. Audition to become the next music idol, receive feedback and work your way to the top, choosing various outcomes throughout the game affecting your style, fame and talent to beat out other contestants.

Some video game versions of popular TV contests are more fun than the original series, but Deal or No Deal: Million Dollar Mission leaves a lot to be desired. Mediocre in its implementation, I found the interactions, visuals and game completion somewhat anticlimactic.

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