AT&T getting social with U-verse TV interactive apps

App usage is increasing across screens and devices, and they've become more of a part of the TV watching experience for many viewers. AT&T (NYSE: T) is looking to delve deeper into that market, today saying it is making it easier for U-verse customers to connect their smartphones and tablets to U-verse receivers and, in the process, to bring together their favorite social apps with what they're watching on TV.

U-verse customers can use a variety of apps that provide real-time TV content and social features on mobile devices easily, since the apps recognize what they're watching on U-verse TV.

Nielsen said 30 percent of TV viewers looked up information related to a TV program they were wathing. The AT&T initiative looks to play off that trend.

Among the apps available to users are BuddyTV Guide, which provides personalized recommendations, a customizable TV guide, show reminders and real-time commenting; Miso, which lets users share what they're watching and discover new shows based on what their friends watch; TV Foundry, which will let users search for shows, trailers, interviews, songs and companion content, show it on the big screen and share it with friends via Facebook and Twitter; and Wayin, which allows users to share opinions with other Wayin community members.

Over their in-home U-verse Wi-Fi network, customers can open the apps on their smartphone or tablet, identify which U-verse receiver they're watching from and start receiving social feeds and information within the app on their device, based on what they're watching on TV.

"Customers want their TV viewing experience to be social, without distracting from the TV show on their TV screen, and they want their choice of apps from their smartphone or tablet to work seamlessly with their TV and enhance their favorite TV shows," said Jeff Weber, vice president of video services for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "These apps allow you to interact and share details about the shows you're watching in simple and engaging ways. And you can do that on the devices that are in your hands or right next to you on the couch."

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