It only takes knowing one Lost fan to understand the addictive power of television. But not everyone has the time or energy to hunt for hints about who is good, evil, or dead this week. iPhone apps let the obsessed fan keep tabs on his or her favorites before, during, and after the episodes air.
With season and series finales looming, the time to gather every scrap of information is nigh. These 10 apps use games, communities and unaired videos to help devotees keep their favorite shows close.
1. CW City Wize
For those Gossip Girl fans not already stalking Manhattan for the clubs, restaurants and shops visited on the show, this app will make it easy to start. Detailed maps pinpoint featured spots, and a few include clips of the characters visiting the locations. West Coast souls can use the app to find the Beverly Hills and Hollywood hot spots visited on 90210 and Melrose Place.
The homepage is centered around communicating with other fans through Twitter and Facebook, and video content rounds out the app, but the real goods are in the games. Three games based on three different myths — Matchstick Cannon, Seesaw Saga, and Soda Bomb — test fans’ myth-busting skills. All of the games include a little video about the episode, followed by cannonball bowling, target-crushing Buster drops, and Mentos and soda shootouts.
The makers of the I Am T-Pain app did not disappoint with another foray into autotune. This app lets Gleeks sing along with songs from the show — three included, and the rest for 99 cents a pop. Terrible singers can rejoice: The app lets users add pitch correction and automatic harmonies to any recording. It won’t quite bring people up to Kristin Chenoweth levels of greatness, but it will at least minimize embarrassment when the recording goes up on the web for the world to hear and sing along with.
Cost: $2.99, on sale for $0.99
An upgrade and a downgrade evens out for this longstanding app. Version 1.1 added the Food Network’s enormous recipe collection, but got rid of full episodes in favor of clips and behind-the-scenes videos. While watching an entire episode of Ace of Cakes on the train would be a bonus, access to Alton Brown’s recipe book is just as good. The app also has the channel’s schedule, so fans can plan on catching their favorite shows.
Fans of Mad Men, The Prisoner, and Breaking Bad can find some quality clips in this catchall app for AMC shows. Behind-the-scenes videos, previews, and cast interviews provide a nice midweek jolt of content, and the iPhone-optimized blogs and schedule let die-hards read up on the latest news and find out when reruns are airing. Just don’t expect too much entertainment value from the sections of the app not related to the series.
Grab the self-tanner and get ready to get down like a guido or guidette. This app lets fans track the venerable stars of Jersey Shore by spotlighting their favorite bars and clubs. Hopeful cast members can search for nearby spots or choose from a cast member’s top picks. The included bios list off who is single and taken, so fans looking for camera time can remember who to aim for. The app is also Foursquare compatible, letting users share their night out with the world. And really, who wouldn’t want to be mayor of a club on the shore?
Single-minded focus has its perks, and this app is one of them. Collecting every airing of his signature segment “The Word,” this app has hundreds of clips for a midday shot of sarcasm from Stephen Colbert. Each day, a new clip is featured, and fans can dig through the archives back to 2005, ordering the clips by date aired or “Word” topic.
House fans looking for extra content will find it here. Behind-the-scenes footage and photos, video blogs with the staff, and a weekly contest for a signed set-piece all find a home in this comprehensive app. Developers promise weekly “appisodes” written by the staff writers, but focused around a new, undoubtedly less-compelling nurse. What makes the app great also makes the show great — each week writers pick their favorite House-isms, letting users relive the best barbs.
An intense game for an intense show, Dexter the Game lets users pick, stalk and kill their victims while working to protect Dexter’s identity. The game includes mini-challenges within the storyline, including a blood-spatter analysis game — quite a feat for a mobile app. Excellent graphics, a new storyline partially written by the producer, and voice-overs from Michael C. Hall do justify the high price tag.
10. The Caprican
The oddity of the concept works for a show as out there as Caprica. The app is designed as a newspaper for Caprica, the imaginary world at the center of the show. Once users suspend disbelief and accept the fictional as reality, there is tons of information tucked into the articles to get the prediction gears whirring before every episode.
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