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TiVo tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

Connected TVs were a highlight at CES this week, so it’s not surprising to see so many media-related apps heading to the Android Market. This week brought the launch of TiVo’s Android app for managing your television programs and recordings, while DirecTV teamed up with Thuuz to offer sports alerts on the go. You can create your own video content with Vimeo’s new Android app, or get paid for being a couch potato with SwagBucks. Here’s this week’s top Android apps.

TiVo (Free)

If you’re a TiVo fan, this app is a must-have. It turns your Android device into a mini TiVo command center. From here, you can search and browse programs, even while you’re watching television. TiVo’s mobile app comes with a channel guide for scheduling recordings, and managing your DVR for things like your Season Pass settings or individual programs. You can also peruse content from Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster. Better yet, the TiVo app can be used as a remote for your set top box. Premiere DVR users can also view shows up to 14 days in advance directly in the app.

Thuuz Sports for Google TV (Free)

Google TV is making a comeback this year, with more partners for connected devices and apps alike. DirecTV is part of the refreshed Google TV push, teaming with Thuuz for sports alerts delivered straight to your phone. Designed for Google TV users, Thuuz monitors the excitement levels during sports game broadcasts to determine when to alert you of the action. And if you’re unable to immediately tune in to the game, Thuuz app will automatically record the most exciting game highlights for later viewing. What sets this app apart is its ability to “think” about the game, along with its integration with DirecTV and Google TV for a smart solution any sports enthusiast can appreciate.

Vimeo (Free)

Vimeo finally released its official mobile app on Android. Playing catch up with its competitors, Vimeo’s rolling out apps for Android, iOS (iPad), the Kindle Fire and Windows Phone all at once. The Android app is a big update from Vimeo’s initial iPhone app released last spring. There’s an HTML5-friendly website and universal player for viewing clips, with updated features to interact with videos for liking, commenting and adding to a “watch later” queue. Sharing videos is easy with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress integration. You can upload videos from your Android handset, or download them to your device’s camera roll.

SwagBucks TV Mobile (Free)

Did you know you can earn rewards for watching videos, searching the web, playing games and taking polls? It may sound a little fishy but SwagBucks is the real deal. Their new TV Mobile app for Android rewards you for watching videos on your mobile phone. There’s over 1,000 clips to watch, from movie and game trailers to interviews and comedy clips, letting you earn rewards on-the-go. You can redeem your Swag Bucks for free items from their on-site catalog. They’ve even thrown in some mobile-exclusive perks, like extra points for mobile videos and extended Swag Buck earning limits in addition to your web activity.

Garmin Smartphone Link (Free)

Garmin’s determined not to lose relevancy in the age of smartphones, coming up with a new link for their personal navigation devices and your Android handset. You can share information between the two, such as recently searched and saved locations, your current destination, traffic information, fuel prices and even where you parked your car. Get the best of both worlds, connecting via Bluetooth for a higher level of service integration using your existing mobile data plan. If you’re a premium users you’ll get even more features, like advanced weather information and more.

Boycott SOPA (Free)

SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, has stirred up plenty of political controversy over the months, but the potential passing of this bill has gotten consumers particularly riled up. You can take your actions one step further with the new Boycott SOPA app for Android, helping you make your presence known beyond the digital world. The app has a bar code scanner that will check against a database of some 800 SOPA supporters, so you know who to boycott and who’s OK to do business with. Some companies, like major studios, are obviously more likely to support SOPA. But other companies may not be so easy to spot. Cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies are on the SOPA list, and if you’re serious about playing your part in this web-changing movement, the Boycott SOPA app could be a useful resource.

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