We got hooked on “The Apprentice” show a while back, after Joy’s brother recommended it. We were initially skeptical, but watched so we could talk about it with him (he uses it in the business classes he teaches).  If he had the free iPhone/iPad app, IntoNow, he could have shared the recommendation instantly.

Here’s how it works: You set your Apple device next to the TV. The app “listens” to the show. (No, we’re not kidding.) It identifies the show almost instantly by going through a catalog of 2.8 million programs that have been broadcast over the past five years. Once it identifies the program (you’ll see the show’s logo on your phone or iPad screen), your “IntoNow” friends will know what you’re watching. You can also see what they are watching, what they watched last week, and so on. Tap “discover” to see who else might be watching that show, even if they’re a stranger. To share outside the IntoNow community, tap a “share” icon and the message goes out on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’re watching a movie, the app provides a link to IMDB (the Internet Movie Database). This can be pretty handy if you are not sure you want to watch further. Tap the “IMDB” link to see a story description, watch a trailer and see the cast list. Tapping a Netflix link lets you go to your Netflix account and add the movie to your queue. Tap an iTunes link for other options. (This is all getting too sophisticated for words.)

The only catch in this whole process is that your friends probably won’t have the IntoNow app yet, so you’ll have to send out invitations to join. At least it’s free.

We tried it on our iPad, which hadn’t yet collected any names in its address book, because we mainly use it to keep up with news. So we automatically added 11,000 Gmail contacts (no, we are not kidding this time either) with a 99 cent iPhone/iPad app called G Live Sync. Now our IntoNow invitations can be sent to 11,000 people with just one tap. Won’t they all be excited? (We’re moving to a very remote location.)

The service is still in its infancy, though the app founders say two million TV shows were tagged as favorites in the first eight weeks. Forty-five percent who use the app to push a comment to Facebook get comments back from others. (Some of the comments cannot be printed here.)

They also have contests. You can read more about that at and see some of their contests.  A recent one allowed the winner to hang out with cast members from the show “Jersey Shore.” (Bob has hung out on the Jersey Shore in times past and he says “Believe me, you don’t want to know most of these people.)

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