The 10 Most Useful Connected Device Apps

Recently, the NPD Group, a research firm, released the Connected TV User Experience Report, in which 3,800 respondents answered questions about video apps that are used with connected TV. 75% of those polled stated that they believe such apps are “extremely” or “very important.”

In addition to importance, other metrics examined were the choice of device used (TV, gaming console, blu-ray player, set-top box, etc.), as well as app features and user satisfaction.

“As new consumers acquire and begin using connected TV devices they are going to be looking for a broader array of network TV apps. As long as they can find and use new apps easily we expect network apps to become a destination for viewers looking for their favourite show,” said John Buffone, executive director, Connected Intelligence.

The following video apps were highlighted as the top 10 most useful and desirable (starting with the most popular):

1. Netflix

Netflix began their streaming service in 2007 with an Internet Explorer plugin; in July 2008, they revealed an exclusive Xbox LIVE app and soon thereafter developed an iPad app in only 60 days. It’s now available on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, tablets and various connected TVs, providing access to tens of thousands of movies and television show episodes.

2. YouTube

YouTube The YouTube app allows a user to watch videos, just like on the website. The program offers an interface that lets one search for something new while still streaming content, and also ensures that playlists, favorites and the history is quick to find.

The Weather Channel In addition to providing local weather conditions and outside temperature, The Weather Channel app serves up hourly and daily forecasts (up to 10 days), as well as window, dew point, humidity, pressure and UV and pollen indices. Weather-related news alerts and stories also appear.

HuluPlus Hulu’s subscription service allows users to view TV and film content on their second-screens for a monthly fee, but starting summer 2014 limited access to free mobile content will be made available. The company plans on utilizing an advertising system that allows viewers to order within the app itself, e.g. one could order a pizza while viewing a show.

5. History

History Created by the History channel, this app provides full episodes, clips, web originals and videos from their programming library. It can be found on iOS and Android devices, as well as Roku, Xbox One and Apple TV. 

Amazon Instant VideoIf you have an Amazon Prime account, you also have free access to thousands of video titles via Amazon’s Instant Video library, including in-season television shows and original content. If you do not have Amazon Prime, you can still watch the videos, but you’ll have to fork over some cash per title. The app can be pulled up on Google TV, iOS, Kindle Fire, Xbox One, PS4 and numerous smart TVs and DVRs.

At the end of April, Amazon announced an exclusive deal with HBO. As of May 21, Prime users are able to stream select HBO series, including The Wire, The Sopranos and Rome, as part of the program.

7. HBOGo

HBOGo HBOGo provides subscribers of the premium cable channel on-the-go access to original HBO television shows, movies, specials and more. It’s available on Xbox One, PS4, Kindle Fire/Fire TV, Roku and assorted smart TV sets.

Fox NewsThe Fox News mobile app is available for iOS and Android users, across phones and tablets alike. Amongst the offerings: breaking news alerts, headlines, show clips and the Fox ticker.

9. PBS

PBS Public broadcaster PBS has released quite a few apps for mobile usage, including ones just for kids and specific for certain programming. The apps, designed for iOS devices because Android is “too complicated,” include ones related to PBS Newshour, Antiques Roadshow, the Dinosaur Train and a general purpose PBS app for watching programs and videos.

10. WatchESPN

WatchESPNESPN subscribers can utilize their app on smartphones, tablets, Xbox, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. Live streaming across ESPN networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and more is featured, as well as live sporting events and shows such as SportsCenter.

Author: Brian Cameron


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