Top 5 web-connected TV apps

Apps have typically been associated with smartphones. The success or failure of a handset can depend on the apps available for it as much as its power or appearance.

LG and other manufacturers now have a range of web-connected TVs on sale

Why? Because people get excited by apps. Pick up a friend’s smartphone to have a look at it (with their permission, of course) and you’ll more than likely pass comment on what apps they have, rather than mentioning the handset’s performance.

But apps are no longer exclusive to smartphones and handheld devices like tablets. Web-connected TVs come with a selection of apps from the manufacturer, while you can also download more to customise your own television.

Web-connected TVs may not have had the hype that HD and 3D TVs have enjoyed, but in years to come they could revolutionise broadcasting.

Nine out of 10 televisions sold in Europe by 2014 will be web-enabled, according to a report by Screen Digest. So the chances are your next TV will be ready to take on the internet.

But LG, Samsung and Panasonic are among the manufacturers who already have web-enabled TVs on the market. So what apps could you download today? Here’s our top five:

1. BBC iPlayer
There’s nothing more frustrating than missing out on the big twist in EastEnders or Luther’s latest instalment of gripping drama. BBC iPlayer has allowed us to catch up on our laptops or desktop PCs when we’ve missed out – now this app lets us fill in the gaps on the big screen. Most web-connected TVs also have apps to let you stream from a library of films and television series.

2. Picasa
Showing off the holiday snaps doesn’t get much easier than this. Don’t spend five minutes hunting for the correct cable and blundering round the back of your TV, just boot up this Picasa app instead. You only have to upload photos to Picasa once for them to be available across your web-enabled devices.

3. Twitter
It probably comes as no surprise to you that we, @DixonsinTheKnow, are quite keen on Twitter – so this app is definitely one of our favourites. You can follow a Twitter hashtag about the big match or what your least favourite politician is saying on Question Time on your television. Why not get involved in the discussion?

4. AccuWeather
The AccuWeather app is one that you’ll surely use on a daily basis. We can imagine sitting on the sofa, chewing our breakfast in the morning and quickly checking the local forecast to see if it’s t-shirts and shorts weather, or time to wrap up warm. It’s invaluable if you’ve just missed the forecast on the news and you’re in a hurry.

5. Skype
Invite your friends in for a natter in your living room, even if they’re 10,000 miles away! The Skype app makes the most of having a bigger screen to work with, so it’s just like having your friends sitting across the other side of the room. This app could help you save a fortune on your phone bills, too.

Are you thinking of getting a web-connected TV? What app would you download first? Comment below or tweet @DixonsinTheKnow