Billed as a “TV Companion” by its developer, Umami for iPad is a entertainment app that knows what show you’re watching. Umami uses your TV’s audio to sync to programs aired on major networks and basic cable within the last week. Viewers can also simply type in a show to receive a customized program filled with bios, news, photos, and other information about the show they are watching.
Umami is synchronous, which means its content changes depending on what you’re watching. The app works whether the TV broadcast is live or on a DVR. Umami creates a home page for each show that links to IMDB, Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Umami is free to download from the App store and doesn’t require users to sign up for an account. To use Umami, just open it near your television; the app does the rest. Hint: if Umami isn’t finding your program, try closing the app and opening it again. Although the TV’s volume needs to be on, it doesn’t need to be blaring; Umami actually correctly detected the right program from another room.
The type of content Umami generates varies depending on what type of program the user is watching. A network sit-com such as How I Met Your Mother generated a cast page, episode guide, and social feature. Umami’s social feature is a boon to Twitter addicts since it integrate up-to-the-minute tweets about your show. Users can also sign in to Facebook or Twitter via Umami to create a more social viewing experience.
Umami has also created a platform for TV networks to reach viewers through its app. Stay tuned for enhanced programing for National Geographic Channel’s Expedition Week and Knights of Mayhem, both of which are scheduled to air this month.
The app’s episode guide will help make spur-of-the-moment viewing decisions easier. To learn, for example that 30 Rock is a repeat (boo!) but the episode guest starring Steve Martin is about to air (yay!), is enough to make any television fan smile.
The content Umami serves up blends the social media functions of GetGlue with IMBD, and a dose of People Magazine-style gossip added for good measure.