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Television apps for your Windows Phone

Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Television Apps
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Television Apps

A little change of pace with this week's Windows Phone Central roundup. This being the day after a holiday for many, we picked a more relaxing topic and week focus on television apps.  Just in case anyone's in the mood for being a couch potato today or are stuck in the office and want to catch up on their favorite shows.

These are Windows Phone apps that deliver the network news to your Windows Phone, that streams programming to your device, and others that delivers schedules, episode information, and other tidbits about what's on the tube.  There's a wide variety of television apps in the Windows Phone Store and we plucked a few out off the shelves that may come in handy.

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There have been a number of minor updates pushed through the Windows Phone Store for a selection of apps. We've clocked 10 notifications through the night, which certainly feels like Christmas to any smartphone owner. We'll quickly run through what's new in each app in one swoop, to provide a heads up on what you can expect to see should you own any of the apps affected.

So sit back, grab a cup of tea and join us as we traverse through the realm of Windows Phone app upgrades.

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One of our favorite apps on Windows Phone is TVShow by developer Rudy Huyn (Dan especially loves this one). It last received a fairly big update in early-December when it made the jump to Windows Phone 8. That update at the time was mostly to get doublewide Tile support and improved graphics. Today it TVShow gets a proper update bringing functionality unique to Windows Phone 8.

Read on, crouton.

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One of our favorite and must-have apps around here is TVShow by Rudy Huyn—developer of such great apps as Wikipedia, Fuse and 9Gag.

TVShow is meant for those who want to keep abreast of all the latest episodes of their favorite programs. You enter in your shows and then TV schedules, info, photos and more are pulled down for the 'nets. You can then have reminders set, pin Tiles to your Start screen, share your thoughts via social networks and it’s all wrapped up in what is one of the prettiest apps we’ve come across.

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We received a few reports from users that the excellent reminder + scheduling apps TVShow and PrimeTV are both "broken" right now. Specifically, when users try to update the app to pull down their customized TV schedules, they are met with an error message that they cannot connect to the servers.

We reached to TVShow's developer Rudy Huyn about the matter and we were given a simple explanation. In short, both apps use the site TVRage for their information and that API is currently undergoing maintenance

There's no word on when it will be back but rest assured it should return. Until then, there's not much it seems either developer can do until TVRage flips the switch again.

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TVShow or PrimeTV... that is the question

We've reviewed PrimeTV and given away copies of TVShow. But which is the best television information app for your Windows Phone?

Tough call. Both offer detailed information on your favorites television shows as well as image galleries and videos on the shows. Both support Trakt.tv and Twitter (TVShow also supports Facebook). Both have live tiles and toast notifications on you favorite shows. Both have easy to navigate user interfaces.  TVShow does support subtitles but is that an across the board feature everyone uses?

But which is the best? While you can search and add favorite television series to track by keyword, Prime TV also gives you recommendations from your Trakt.tv account and from those shows that are trending upwards on Trakt.tv.

I'd love to say there's a smoking gun that would put one of these apps ahead of the other but they are so close, it's truly a dead tie. Both apps have similar features that are at times only distinguishable by how your access them. For example, TVShow has a YouTube button that sends you to a video page. PrimeTV incorporates a YouTube page into the Television Series hub.

Fortunately, both have free trials so you can judge for yourself. The full versions of both run $.99. You can find the Marketplace links and a side by side video comparison after the break.  If you find one of these two apps better than the other, feel free to share in our comments section.

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WPCentral TVShow Giveaway Winners!

We received a lot of good comments on the upcoming Mango update and from those responses, we've randomly selected ten members to win a free copy of TVShow.

The ten winners are: Koki.v3, Baka, pyxl, Xplode22, lerimer, jaethos, TheRocker, erasure25, magic2802, and vesu0073.

We've sent out congratulatory emails to each and will follow up with instructions on how to claim your copy of TVShow shortly. Thanks goes out to Rudy Huyn, TVShow's developer, for sponsoring this giveaway and to all the WPCentral readers who participated in the discussion.

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WPCentral's TVShow Giveaway Contest

We've been really impressed with Rudy Huyn's TVShow App and now we are going to giveaway ten free copies.

We'll keep this one simple. Just head on over to the forums and chime in on this discussion over in the forums about Mango. Tell what excites you, what you wish would be amongst the 500 new features, or what features you could live without.

Post your comments by 6:00pm CST on Monday, May 30, 2011 and we'll randomly select ten winners from these comments. You do have to register to post comments (plus it helps us notify the winners) and that easy process starts here.

We'd like to thank Rudy Huyn for providing the complimentary licenses for his app and supporting this contest.  Good luck and let the posting begin!

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TVShow goes to v2.0, gets major overhaul [Video]

We first looked at TVShow 1.0 back in March. The app was coded in 30 hours by Rudy Huyn and we walked away impressed.

Now that he's had more than 30 hours to work on the app, he's released 2.0 and wow, is it impressive. The UI has been modified, many more options added (including a customizable live tile), social networking, YouTube and even the ability to choose those awesome backgrounds from your favorite show:

  • Get a quick overview of the all the upcoming episodes for all of your favorite shows
  • Get synopsis, screen captures, rates, news, subtitles, youtube videos and recaps for each episodes
  • Mark seen and unseen episodes
  • be notified right before a new episode of your favorite TV Shows aired even if the app is not launched.
  • Share comments with friends on facebook/twitter and with other users
  • offline mode with cache feature for pictures
  • rate episodes
  • Use your phone as a remote screen for subtitles
  • translation feature for recaps and summaries
  • for U.S. residents only: adjust air date/times of U.S. tv shows to your local time zone

Check out the video above as we give a tour of the features. We're throwing this up there with '4th & Mayor', 'Rowi', 'Amazon.com' as must-have apps for your phone. Truly some exceptional development by Huyn. The app fetches for $0.99 in the Marketplace here that has a fully-functional trial e.g. it's like the old 'lite' version.

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The other day we mentioned about Rudy Hyun and his TVShow app which was coded in 30 hours. That was the free "lite" version and we were anxiously awaiting his $0.99 paid one with a Live Tile and more features. Well, as you can guess it's here and it rocks.

As you can see in the above pic, I have 3 upcoming shows with the next one being 'Community' (aka the best show on TV right now). The Live Tile update is practically instant after you add your shows (remember to hold down/press to mark all previous episodes as "seen"). What can we say? We're impressed and we highly recommend it. Outstanding work by the developer.

Rudy also lets us know that he already submitted the next update, which should be out in a few days. That willll bring the following features:

  • support utf-8 subtitles
  • rate episodes
  • reorder tv show
  • speed up the launch
  • Fix the silverlight toolkit bug (the application may close when we added an tvshow)
  • 'press and hold" on a tv show marks all episodes as seen.
  • and a feature requested by US citizen for US tv shows: the possibility to have first aired datetime (Eastern time) or your local aired time (+3 for pacific time zone, +1 for mountain time zone)

Sounds good to us. Grab the "lite" version here and the new paid one here in the Marketplace.

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One month ago we covered the story of developer Rudy Huyn--he was looking for a challenge: code a Windows Phone 7 app in 30 hours (including sleep), all he needed was an idea. One idea came up and 'TVShow' was born.

TVShow is one of those TV scheduling apps of which there are plenty in the Marketplace. We know because we've tried a lot and sorry to say, have not been that impressed. However, TVShow Lite is what we wanted and we have to give it some high praise: nice, highly legible UI, fast load times and logical layout make this TV schedule app our new favorite.

The app is "lite" meaning free and lacking features of which the paid version will fulfill. We're not sure when that version will be released but we want it: push notifications to alert you your show is coming up, device caching of images to allow faster loading times, "...retrieve episode subtitles, use your phone as a remote screen for subtitles, translation feature for recaps and summaries". Yeah, we want that. So hurry up Rudy!

Till then, let the free version tide you over. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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Developer Rudy Huyn was looking for an idea for a Windows Phone app to make and also looking for a challenge: to completely code it up in 30 hours (including sleep).

Well the project was finished and on time, just as promised. The app is called TVShow, submitted to the Marketplace and should be available by next week (unclear if this will be an English version of the program). The program looks to be one of the TV-scheduling apps that are quite popular (but very few "get right") so we'll be interesting in taking it for a spin.

What's all of this prove (besides great publicity for Rudy)? What we already know: writing apps for Windows Phone 7 is quite easy compared to the competition and perhaps even enjoyable. Heck, even you can even watch the whole thing above in the video and check out the screen shots from TVShow below.

via WindowsPhoneFR; Thanks, Fabien, for the headsup

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