Can the TiVo App Change Your TV Life?

By Katie Kindelan Comment

Two months after teasing it as “the world’s most amazing remote control,” TiVo has officially released its long-awaited Apple iPad app. Described as the “command central” by TiVo the new app can function as your remote, allow you to browse programming without interrupting your TV watching, and throws in some social networking too. So, can it change your life?

It’s called the TiVo Premiere App for the iPad, and early reviews show the app lives up to its much-anticipated hype, and it’s name, “premiere.”

Remember the days of having to stop what you’re watching to update your Season Pass, find new programs or schedule one-time recordings? No more.

The free app essentially turns your iPad into a supersized TiVo remote through which you can find content, view guides, schedule and manage recordings and get recommendations, all on the iPad without interrupting the TV experience.

“Now you can quickly surface new content, view guides, schedule and manage recordings, get recommendations, or investigate a particular actor’s entire resume – all using intuitive, gesture-based iPad interaction,” explains its App Store listing.

If you find yourself watching a new show wondering where you know the lead star from, you can grab your iPad as the Premier App syncs to WiFi and opens automatically to the current show. From there, it’s virtual IMDb where you can discover every show the actor has ever been in and schedule future recordings featuring him or her, again without ever interrupting your current TV watching.

The app, available now in Apple’s App Store, works with iPads running iOS 3.2 or later and requires either a TiVo Premiere or TiVo Premiere XL box and a TiVo account in order to operate.

In a nod to the power of social media, the app also lets you connect to Facebook and Twitter to share your love of your favorite shows or give and receive show recommendations.

Following the latest trends, the app interface lets users control their viewing of live TV and TiVo recordings with gesture controls such as swiping back and forth to rewind or move forward through a program on their TV.

Tube and big-screen devotees can also find online video content available through Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand and other streaming services available on the TiVo Premiere DVR. Or if you’re out-and-about and hear about a new show or new movie, you can program the show and set it to record, from your app.

The app is the latest from the DVR pioneer as it tries to stay relevant in the age of built-in DVRs and pay-TV providers. Over the past year TiVo has seen about a quarter of its subscribers leave.

The app is also a chance for the company to overcome the tepid response it received when it released the Premiere and Premiere XL boxes last March. Reviewers described the models as “incomplete” and complained there wasn’t enough of an upgrade to move from the old TiVo to the new model, or part with the $300-500 price tags they carried.

The only complaints for the new app so far seem to be the speed, with a common refrain being the search function is nowhere near as fast as the TiVo search itself.

Still in all, the power to search on-the-go or while you’re watching live TV, and share with friends: a life changer? Tell us what you think in the comments.