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If you have a tablet you probably already use it for many entertainment-related activities.  For example, you may already watch streaming video on your tablet, using it it to look up information when watching your favourite TV show (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up characters onGame of Thrones to figure out who they’re related to, or who their enemies or allies are).  But did you know there are a lot of apps out there that can make your tablet a multi-purpose entertainment tool? 

Here are just a few ways you can enhance your experience:

TWITTER BROADCASTING

BlueJaysUmp.JPGIf you’re watching a live event, Twitter is a must and more specifically Tweetdeck which gives you the ability to customize and adjust various Twitter feeds as much as you’d like.  Watching a baseball game for example is a lot more fun and engaging when you follow the broadcast crew or sports media who report on the team (its commonplace for many to be live tweeting during a broadcast answering your questions). 

There are also some really interesting twitter feeds that add more depth to the game – for example, the Twitter account @Bluejaysump use pitch tracking feed from every Blue Jays game when a call has been incorrect.  If you’re a Jays fan like me, this can be extremely frustrating sometimes but it definitely adds to the experience of watching a baseball game on TV!   

It’s not just live events though – it’s common for a lot of actors, hosts and directors to live-tweet while their show is on adding behind the scenes information as well as interacting with fans. Twitter has recently begun to enter even deeper into live coverage, signing deals with the NHL and MLB to livestream games, and is currently in the midst of broadcasting live coverage of both the Republican and Democratic conventions in the US.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT

Something you can expect to see more of in the future is the ability for your tablet to become a command center for your TV.  A good recent example is the Rogers Anyplace TV Home Edition App which lets you manage your recorded or scheduled programs as well as schedule new programs for recording.  PVR systems and traditional remotes aren’t always “fast” to respond to what you want to do, so having an app like this makes it a lot easier to manage your programs and not have to change the channel from what you may already be watching.

SECOND SCREEN VIEWING

twd_storysync_axe.jpg“Second Screen Viewing” is the use of a a tablet or some other device to provide an enhanced experience when watching a television program.  Again, sports has really been the trailblazer in this area with most professional leagues providing free and paid apps that give you in-depth stats and coverage that you can’t get when just watching or listening to a game being broadcasted.

One of the more interesting non-sportsexperiences recently has been the “Story Syncwhich was launched by AMC to enhance the experience for their show The Walking Dead.  Story Sync is active during each weekly episode, polling fans on episode-related outcomes, offering games to play or providing in-depth information on characters or items in the show complimenting what is happening in a specific scene.

For many people, their tablet is by their side while watching television as a way to pass the time while the commercials play.  But installing a few simple apps can turn your tablet from a device of distraction to a connected and valuable part of your entertainment experience.

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