The Daily App: Shark Week -- Need We Say More?
If you're like most people, you're afraid of sharks, but Discovery Channel's Shark Week manages elevates the deadly creatures into veritable pop culture icons, putting them front and center for a week of shows. Discovery is pulling out the stops with its iPad app, so get ready for some predators.
What's the App?
The best place to get mobile content devoted to Shark Week is Discovery Channel's own HD app, available for free on iPad. It features a Shark Week Live section of content that lets you access a "second-screen" experience, which complements live broadcast shows like "Air Jaws Apocalypse," "Sharkzilla," "How Jaws Changed the World," "Shark Fight" and "Great White Highway." As you watch on TV, you can take quizzes, chat on social media, view photos, play simple games, read fun facts and watch bonus videos.
The app takes advantage of growing mobile device use during TV viewing, and social media integration promises to boost ratings. Twitter rang up more than one million Shark Week tweets in two days, well exceeding the 750,000 tweets for the entire week last year. It's fun to keep track of the social chatter as a show happens, and the Discovery Channel content is stunningly colorful and clear, though there's no Retina display support for iPads.
The app doesn't have many clips of Shark Week shows due to licensing restrictions. There's a lot of advertising too, since it's an official Discovery Channel product. Sadly, you're going to have to turn on a real TV to watch shows, reflecting bigger trends in Internet-TV -- streaming media won't shift until cable works out legal logistics.
You'll Want It If...
You like sharks, especially in a "look but don't touch" kind of way. Simple.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Not everyone has an iPad, but there are still plenty of other fun ways to get your sea predator fix and take part in the Shark Week fun. If you just have a lowly laptop, a Twitter or Facebook account and an old-school TV, you can still join "Chompdown" to vote on what Sharkzilla, a 52-foot mechanical replica of a Megalodon with 7-inch steel teeth, will bite down on every night. Discovery broadcasts Sharkzilla's menu choices at 9 p.m., and you can vote on Facebook through polls or on Twitter with the #Chompdown hashtag. Then, at 11 p.m., watch Sharkzilla do its deed. On Monday, the metal beast took out a stainless steel beer keg, spewing beer everywhere, including on Shark Week host Philip DeFranco.
If you like your Shark Week action a little more sedate, there's Shark Week's Bingo game, as well as a live "SharkCam," which streams views from the Georgia Aquarium, though there's no guarantee of live carnage.
If you have a finer appreciation of sharks, the Marine Conservation Science Institute's "Expedition White Shark" app helps you tracks great whites, earmarked as "vulnerable" due to the popularity of shark fin soup. By compiling satellite data gathered from tags attached to the dorsal fins, you can track where sharks have "checked in" above the water's surface. The app also helps to raise money and awareness for one of the ocean's most powerful and misunderstood predators. ♦
Categories: Entertainment | The Daily App