As fate would have it, I just happen to be at the filming of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago the day Oprah announced the release of the official Oprah Mobile app in the summer of 2010. I was slightly shocked to find that the queen of TV had yet to release an iPhone app until that day. And, with a closer look at the iTunes App Store in 2011, I'm still shocked to see a surprising lack of Oprah-themed apps available.
Noticeably absent, and something I'm sure a lot of you would like to have seen, is an Oprah's Favorite Things app, which could list the items Oprah notoriously gives away to audience members every year around the holidays. Why not give non-audience members an easy link to buy these items?
With the launch of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, in January, 2011, I would have assumed the release of an accompanying iPhone app. Yet, the App Store is mysteriously missing anything Oprah-related beyond Oprah Mobile and the ability for iPad owners to download O, The Oprah Magazine apps for $3.99 a pop. Yet, the TV queen's weak appearance in the app world isn't keeping her OWN stars out of the App Store.
Suze Orman's Money Tools
Financial guru Suze Orman appears on OWN in "Ask Oprah's All Stars." She also has the Suze Orman's Money Tools app available in the App Store free. My favorite part of this financial app is the "Buy Now vs. Save Later" calculator that reveals the true cost of your purchases. I might want that new pair of shoes now, but do I want to pay almost double the cost in finance charges when I can't pay off the bill in a few months? No, and thank you, Suze. After checking out this app, I will be tuning into OWN for Suze's savvy financial recommendations.
You, Having a Baby
Another star of OWN's "Ask Oprah's All Stars" is Dr. Oz, whose appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" eventually turned into his own self-named TV gig on "The Dr. Oz Show." For his You, Having a Baby app, he collaborated with another celebrity doctor to bring mothers-to-be mobile health advice. This pregnancy app is great for new moms who don't know where to begin on their new journey, and want a place to gather information in one handy spot on their iPhones.
Just 10 Lbs.
Author and educator Brad Lamm is best known for helping people make life-enhancing change on The Dr. Oz Show, and is currently producing a new show releasing on OWN soon. In the meantime, you can check out Just 10 Lbs., the iPhone app that corresponds with his book of the same name. This weight-loss inspiration app is great for folks who have started on New Year's resolutions to tone up in 2011. You start by making the 10-lbs. pledge, and get access to daily affirmations to keep you on track. Check it out before Brad's show hits OWN.
Gaiam Relax App
The holistic lifestyle brand is bringing Gaiam's Wake Up Work Out show to OWN in 2011. In the meantime, check out the brand's free Gaiam Relax App for a virtual meditation room wherever you go.
Miso — Social TV
The free Miso — Social TV app brings a social spin to the OWN-watching experience. Check in that you are watching "Your OWN Star: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star," and earn special badges. Chat with friends about the OWN shows you're watching, and share on Twitter and Facebook.
As mentioned above, the Oprah Mobile app is available for 99 cents (originally $1.99, and still on a summer sale according to the iTunes App Store), and includes all the signature lifestyle and inspiration articles available free on www.oprah.com. I stopped using my app because I get the daily e-newsletters that have the same content, which I prefer to read on my computer screen. You can also use the app to learn what time you can find The Oprah Winfrey Show on your local cable channels, which I assume will be updated soon to reflect OWN. And, iPad owners can access the latest O, The Oprah Magazine app issues by downloading edition from the App Store for $3.99.