Harking back to time of GCSE science, I usually think of the term ‘application’ usually meaning ‘practical usage’ as the exceptionally annoying section of the seemingly endless worksheets we had to fill out, just so we might set fire to something. The ‘application’ part was the bit where you needed to say what (if any) real world, realistic value your experiments had, which, because it turns out, wasn’t usually a great deal in my case. I remember a classmate pretty maliciously drenched a spider in hydrochloric acid once, but I doubted, even at age 15 and three quarters, that it could become a popular form of pest control.
As Led Zeppelin have now been telling us since the 70’s, you know sometimes words have double meanings. In the case of software design and programming, additionally, there are quite a lot of words that have been co-opted so as to denote something, typically only somewhat alike, to what the word actually means. So, applications, or ‘apps’ as we hip, swinging cats refer to them, have nothing at all to do with GCSE science and all to do with cutting edge consumer technology.
An app is essentially a computer program designed to help the parent device perform a specific purpose. Apps are like mini programs that were originally designed for portable devices like iPods, Smartphones and Tablet PCs. Apps range from the sublime, (such as the app that can track traveling whales in real time or the one that shows you the precise place of all the stars and wonderful bodies from any place in the world) to the totally stupid, but amusing anyways (the app where you can punch a cartoon cat in the face, Angry Birds). Apple consumers alone have access to over 60,000 downloadable apps, the majority of them are totally free to use.
Smart TV, obviously, has its individual set of downloadable applications. I should indicate now that these aren’t as esoteric as the wide-ranging applications accessible for the phone or Tablet, yet. So far Smart TV’s list of apps is a mostly practical one. Here is a look at some of the apps you will manage to acquire for the Smart TV (NOTE: Different applications are licensed to different manufacturers – so if you’re distinctively after a TV because of its applications, it pays to do your homework, which is, in its own way, somewhat like GCSE science).
Netflix – The extension of a on line film rental business (and proud sponsor of the iFanboy comic book discussion show, I hasten to add) is an app which gives you the choice to stream ‘rented’ films over the Internet for a small cover charge.
Amazon – From Amazon, you are able to download content. So when you’d rather buy a movie or TV show, you are able to simply click on the link and it will be sent straight to the hard drive. It’s cheaper than purchasing discs and far simpler to store.
BBC iPlayer – It is a small version of the iPlayer site; there’s also a BBC News and sports app.
Youtube – You’ll also find other video sites available as apps. Dailymotion and Vimeo are now properly accessible from the television.
Along with these applications, you’ll find Sports apps that will video every game and apps for specific channels, making them accessible as individual networks as opposed to part of a cable/satellite package.
Whichever applications you want, make sure they do what you think they do and they’re available for the Smart tv you select, before you purchase. That way you will avoid disappointment.