Today we take a look at a mobile app that is indeed not related to birds, pigs or joyrides in jetpacks - That's right, it's not a game. We're going to have a quick look at Viggle, a free "get free stuff" app for iOS, with a possible Android release in the near future.
Viggle lets you earn points for the television you already watch (and admit it, you watch plenty). A simple 15 second process when a show starts sets you down the path to free giftcards and prizes. The process is very similar to GetGlue, but instead of virtual stickers, you'll earn points to cash in.
Upon opening the app the first time, you'll be prompted to enter a username and email address to link to the app, and that's about all the set up required. Once you've signed in, you're ready to start earning. The process is as simple as clicking the giant V button in the middle of the screen and allowing your iPhone or iPad (Sorry iPad 1 owners - without a mic, you won't be able to use the app) to listen to what you're watching.
The app will then match the sound to a show, even if it's mid-commercial and then prompt you to check-in. That's it - you'll earn points when the show ends. On top of check ins, there are some commercials you can opt to watch (but never be forced to view) for some bonus points, as well as occasional polls or "play along" questions with featured shows. Speaking of featured shows, many prime-time shows will offer bonus points just for checking in.
Above, you see +400 bonus points for checking into American Idol - you'll receive those points on top of the normal check-in period points when the show ends. You're able to set reminders for bonus point shows or shows you really like, as well.
Now, on to what everyone cares about: The available prizes. On a given day, you'll have a choice between many gift cards, including Starbucks, iTunes, RedBox, Best Buy and more. There are also featured prizes, such as iPod touches and Kindle Fires in the rotation. Some gift cards are 'featured' and appear for a limited time, most often for Amazon and Target.
Personally, I've earned $50 in Target gift cards in a pretty short time, considering I was already watching all that TV anyway. A very diligent friend of mine cashed in for enough Amazon gift cards to get himself a Galaxy Tab 2. Since the app has launched, Viggle has cycled through quite a few prize choices and continually rotate items in and out.
So, for 15 seconds at a time, you can mindlessly earn points towards some free prizes - You really can't beat that. Anyone who already uses something like GetGlue could really consider swapping to Viggle or running it alongside, as it offers actual prizes. It's really hard not to stress that if you already watch a few hours of TV a day and have an iPhone sitting anywhere near you, there's no good reason not to download and enjoy the benefits of Viggle.
If you should ever experience an issue with the app, they have responsive customer support, especially via twitter ( @viggle and @vigglesupport ), whom I've chatted with a few times myself. In the latest update, you can now see your points history broken down, which is a nice feature. Even if you don't use it too often, you can get yourself a small gift card every couple of weeks for a free coffee with a colleague or a quick lunch.
Definitely a strong recommendation from me - there may not be any high scores to compare with your friends, but being at the top of the leader board won't buy you a Kindle Fire, now will it?