By Dan Moren
February 23, 2016 7:43 AM PT
Keeping on top of peak TV with Television Time
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
Missing an episode of TV is hardly a tragedy, especially these days when most shows are easily and widely available.1 But we’re in peak TV! The greatest golden age of TV ever! I just don’t want to miss an episode of one of the way too many shows I follow. (To be fair: I do podcast about a lot of pop culture, especially TV, so let’s just pretend this is “work.”)
Good news: there’s an app to track your TV watching. Of course there is. There are probably several, frankly, but after seeing it written up on The Sweet Setup, I bought the $3 Television Time, which I’ve been using for several weeks now, and I’m proud to say I have hardly missed an episode of television since.2
Television Time appeals in several ways. For one, I like that it incorporates both a calendar feature, telling you when the next episode of your favorite shows airs, as well as a personal queue of the episodes of those shows that you still have to watch. It’s also attractive and simple to use, and if you install it on multiple iOS devices, it can sync your watchlist via iCloud. In particular, I appreciate the feature that lets you select an episode as watched and then mark all episodes prior to that as also watched, which simplifies adding new shows to your list–otherwise triaging certain 11-season shows would take kind of forever.
Other niceties include a Notification Center widget, an Apple Watch app, and 3D Touch support–press on the app icon, and it’ll show you all of the shows on your calendar airing today. It is essentially impossible to miss an episode of television. You will watch. You must watch. MUST SEE TV.
Er, where was I?
There are a couple of minor improvements I’d like to see in Television Time, though. The search for adding new shows could be better; we’re so used to speedy searching that immediately shows us results based on the partial words we’ve already entered that it feels like a bit of a throwback to have to type the entire term and search before getting results. I also kind of wish there weren’t a Stats pane, if only because it’s a bit depressing to see just how much time I’ve sunk into watching TV shows. I ended up turning off most of the notifications of shows because I generally don’t watch them live when they air–it’d be nice if I could instead be notified when those shows appear on streaming services, but that’s understandably a bit trickier.
I’d also really love to see an Apple TV version of this app, with links to the various streaming services. I’ve advocated for Apple to build its own centralized watchlist on the set-top box, but if the company isn’t going to do that anytime soon, seems like Television Time is definitely the next best option.
If you’ve found yourself a bit overwhelmed by the deluge of shows, Television Time might be just what the doctor called for3.
- Not like when I was a kid and I waited a super long time for the Scotty episode of The Next Generation to show up in the syndicated cycle–and then missed it and had to wait years before it came around again. ↩
- Please send help. Or food. ↩
- Full disclosure: I am neither a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. ↩
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]
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