Yahoo!'s IntoNow is an iPad?app (also available on other iOS platforms as well as Android) that stands out among the many "second-screen" apps designed to enhance your television viewing experience. Powered by SoundPrint recognition technology, IntoNow analyzes live television audio and matches it against "fingerprints" in its database to deliver supplemental program information to your tablet. IntoNow works well, but it's the apps additional features?a built in meme generator, in particular?that helps it stand out among a deep sea of second-screen apps.
Getting In the Know with IntoNow
IntoNow prompts you login with either your existing Facebook or Yahoo credentials when you first fire up the app. You can also create a dedicated IntoNow account on the spot if you don't fancy linking the app to a personal account.
IntoNow then prompts you to find your IntoNow-using friends by logging into Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, or your iPad's address book. If they aren't IntoNow users, you can invite them to the service from within the app. Your friends help power social features that I'll touch upon in a bit.
Once you're set up, you arrive at the IntoNow homescreen. The app's moderately attractive, but my biggest gripe is that it doesn't take up the full screen. The various features use half the real estate?they only make use of the remaining real estate when dig into sub-menus.
The IntoNow Experience
Tapping the television icon places IntoNow into listening mode. The app, powered by IntoNow's SoundPrint technology, listens to live TV and identifies a show within a few seconds. I activated IntoNow while watching a Castle episode and it pushed show information to my screen in roughly five seconds. IntoNow supplied the season and episode numbers, an episode synopsis, a Twitter feed that features show mentions as well as cast tweets, actor bios, and links to the show's official webpage, the show's Wikipedia page, the ABC show store, and more. Unfortunately, IntoNow doesn't have Zeebox's TV listings and alerts, but it performs the most basic second-screen functions well.
IntoNow also provides a useful list of music played in the episode. This listing includes the artist names, song titles, and links to music videos. Like Shazam's iPad app, IntoNow lets you play a few seconds of each song, or buy the tracks from iTunes. There's even show-specific trivia games. IntoNow brings a lot of enjoyable features to the table.
Besides mixing up with other fans in the dedicated Twitter stream, you can also chat with friends in the IntoNow chat room. These friends are pulled from your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and iOS address book. You can also look for users using the included search box. Chatting with friends is fun, but it's not nearly as smile-inducing as IntoNow's unique Capit feature.
Capit gives IntoNow a leg up on Shazam, Zeebox, and other competing apps. Capit grabs screenshots of live TV and lets you add text to the images. That's right, it's a built in meme generator! Your created memes become part of a show's index page, but you can also share them with others in your social networks. Some of the memes are truly 4chan-worthy and make for a good chuckle.
Into the Action
IntoNow, on the surface, may seem like "just another" second screen app, but its Capit and trivia features are highly entertaining additions. If you want to learn what all the second screen apps buzz is all about, IntoNow is a fine place to start.