What’s Good: Spoilers (for those who want to know what’s going on in the house all the time); quick access to both general and cast member specific tweets with the hashtag #BB12; breaking news notifications; the app is free (ad supported).
What’s Bad: Spoilers (for those who don’t like them); the trivia question on the opening screen of the app is a waste of time.
The Verdict: If you are as addicted to Big Brother as I am, and don’t mind spoilers, you should definitely check out the Big Brother 12 app.
The Big Brother 12 app is not an “official” app by CBS, so it doesn’t have the look and feel of a commercial, polished app. Instead, it is essentially a shell for the #BB12 Twitter feed (the official Big Brother 12 Twitter hashtag). There are a few things that I really like about the app, but also a few things that bug me a bit.
First, the good
The main homescreen for the app contains a list of houseguests along with a status update for each houseguest that is either the subject of current action, or has been evicted. For example, there is a notation next to the current week’s head of household, houseguests nominated for eviction, the houseguest who has won the veto competition, and those who have been previously evicted.
Users can touch the “live feeds” button in the header to see the Twitter feed for the hashtag “#BB12”. This feed is full of up-to-date information from people who are watching the live-feeds available at CBS.com. Users who want to find information about specific houseguests can touch their desired houseguest and a Twitter feed with the name of the selected houseguest will appear. These houseguest-specific feeds seem to be culled directly from the general live feed tweet list. Because the app is essentially a Twitter feed shell, the TwitPlus app works to view photo links without pulling up the browser, thereby saving quite a bit of time and making photo viewing much more enjoyable.
In the event there is some breaking news event, as pulled from BigBrotherNetwork.com, a notification will show up in the notification bar. By selecting the notification, the user will jump to BigBrotherNetwork.com to view information about the breaking news event.
What Bugs Me
Spoiler Alert! Those who don’t want to see spoilers have no business with this app because the whole purpose for the app is to see the spoiler information.
The initial splash-screen is essentially a required trivia question about events from both the current season and prior seasons. This is a big time waster, because lets face it, we’re using the app as an efficient way to find up-to-date information, and the trivia question is anything but efficient. There is no option to select the frequency with which the app updates the live feed or searches for breaking news events in the background, so there is the potential for a negative impact on battery life.
Being the Big Brother fanatic that I am, I really like the Big Brother 12 app for its simplicity and easy access to both general and houseguest specific information. Those who tweet about Big Brother often include screenshots so those are fun to see as well. Some might consider it a timewaster, but for those who don’t want to pay for the live feeds, it could be a good alternative to keep up with the latest and greatest drama or controversy brewing in the house. A search of “#BB12” from any other Twitter app would get the same tweets as the live feed in the Big Brother 12 app, but to get this information as quickly, a user would have to have a Twitter app that can save search-terms for quick access. Touiteur does not seem to include this functionality, so if you’re using a Twitter app that does include this functionality, please let me know in the comments.
Any other Big Brother fanatics out there? Let me know who your favorite houseguest is this season. Unless you are a spoiler-hater, you don’t have much to lose with this app but your time.