November 21, 2011
NBC Universal, Inc. today released the USA Anywhere app. The free universal app provides a forum for USA Network fans to meet and learn more about their favorite programs. Unfortunately, the app does not offer streaming capabilities. Because of this limitation, the app is, at best, not much more than a marketing device at least for the time being. Like the Showtime Social app before it, the app’s primary purpose is to immerse current and new viewers into the shows the cable network offers. To do this, USA Anywhere includes social features like live chats (both public and private) and the ability to vote in polls about each program. In addition, USA Anywhere includes a program schedule to see when your favorite shows will air plus a reminder feature. Each show, which includes NCIS, In Plain Sight, and Psych, among others, also has a photo and video section. Regrettably, the videos here are not show clips, let alone full episodes or even “coming soon” snippets. Instead, they’re little more than publicity videos that add very little to an already underwhelming app viewing experience. Although USA Anywhere is currently short on features, there is hope going forward. The official NBC app, for example, also didn’t include full episode streaming when it was released. However, that was soon changed thanks to an app update. We can only hope the USA Anywhere app gains a similar update in the near future. USA Anywhere is available now for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad in the App Store.