Review: Miso for iOS

If you find yourself bored while watching TV, add some spice to your viewing by making a game of it. Miso brings competition to social TV through points. It also offers extra content for some shows. And while you get some social features on all iOS devices, the app only offers its full complement of tools for iPhone and iPod touch users running iOS 3.2 or later.

Miso isn't a full-featured second screen app like GetGlue or TV Guide Mobile. It doesn't recommend shows based on your preferences or offer TV listings. On the home screen you'll see the most popular shows, and the right column lists shows you've watched recently. Other than that, you search for the show or movie you're watching, and then check in.

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During the check in process you can add a comment and post what you've watched on Facebook or Twitter. You can also select a specific episode to check in for, which is a nice touch that some similar apps lack. After you check in you can see comments from other users about that series or episode. If you have friends who also use the app, you can see what they're watching once you've added them as a friend. Oddly, if you want to comment after you've checked in, you have to check in again.

Similar to FourSquare's popular model, you earn points for check-ins and get badges based on those check-ins. The app gives you hints about how to earn badges, but the tips can be pretty generic. I found the best way to earn badges was to check in a lot and get rewarded for what you watch instead of actively trying to achieve badges.

If you're using the iPhone or iPod Touch version of the app, some shows offer SideShow content, which features comments from other viewers, news about the show, polls, and links to related articles. DirecTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers can sync Miso so that the SideShow advances in-sync with the show as it plays; the rest of us have to scroll through manually. I found that the included polls and quotes made me pay more attention to the show. Unfortunately, Miso limits iPad users to basic features like check in, so there are no SideShows on the iPad.

Miso's unique features make it an engaging second screen activity that complements what you watch. While it won't help you find what's on, it can make what you watch more fun.

This story, "Review: Miso for iOS" was originally published by Macworld.

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