6 Smartphone Apps That Jumped From The Smallest Screens To TV And Movies, And 1 More That Should

From the smallest screens to the small and big screens.

With all of the movies and game shows that come and go, production studios and networks can be forgiven for running short on options for new concepts. But things are looking up thanks to some of our favorite apps. There is a new trend of turning smartphone apps into movies and TV game shows, some of which you might recognize.


Here, we explore seven of the most popular game apps — some of which just had their season premieres, so check them out and who knows, maybe we'll see you as a contestant on a future episode.

1. "Beat Shazam"

Shazam is one of the most popular apps around for music identification (and has since incorporated movies, advertisements, and television shows to the mix). Shazam has been available for awhile but started really gaining popularity in 2013. It has become so huge that Fox turned it into a game show. Beat Shazam — much like the app — challenges you to "name that tune" in two notes (sometimes more, but it would be amazing if someone could name the tune in one note). Celebrities such as Terrance Howard, Snoop Dogg, and Mariah Carey have already appeared on the show to join in the fun. Beat Shazam is hosted by Jamie Foxx and airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, so be sure to catch each show because you never know which celebrity will drop by next.

2. "The Angry Birds Movie"

Angry Birds is by far the most entertaining and hilarious app anyone has played on a smartphone or tablet (perhaps we're biased here). Launching a bird (or birds) by catapult or slingshot has the ability to make the dullest of people laugh. The noises some of the birds make when you launch them coupled with the pigs and their commentary oinking are enough to keep you engrossed for hours. Some people spend money on extra birds to keep going and reach the next level, and some saved their money for the box office where this app headed in 2016. The premiere of The Angry Birds Movie grossed more than $107 million at the U.S. box office, so it should be no surprise that the sequel, Angry Birds 2, is tentatively set for release in September 2019.

3. "Candy Crush"

Who hasn't been invited by one of their friends on Facebook to play Candy Crush at one point or another? The Candy Crush TV game show series premiered Sunday night. Mario Lopez hosts the show, where players use a giant, pole-sized candy cane stylus to play the game on a huge touch screen built into the floor. They also play on a touch screen wall via a harness, ladders, and the like. Teams of contestants compete by swinging, swiping, sliding, and slapping their way to winning $100,000 at the end of the show.

4. "The Emoji Movie" and "Emogenius"

Yeah, yeah, we know these two aren't specifically based off of game apps, but they're a major part of smartphone culture. Who would have thought producers could make a game show, and even a movie, out of emojis? The Emoji Movie premieres in theaters July 28. Emogenius is a game show hosted by YouTube video maker Hunter March that premiered in June and airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The show features teams of two competing to decode phrases created by emojis on a text message-style screen. It's fun to play along, and chances are that they'll create a game app for this one as the show gains popularity.

5. "Draw It!"

Remember the game app Draw Something, where you play with random people to guess what the person is drawing before the full picture is shown (or at least guess what the individual drew once the entire picture is shown)? Some of you might remember the TV game show pilot Draw It! from 2014 and how it never took flight (it ended after the first season), but it was the first of its kind in game show concepts for taking a phone app and transitioning it to mainstream television. Perhaps they'll give this one another shot, because whenever celebrities get involved, it makes things more interesting.

6. "Temple Run"

Temple Run is a game app that was created in 2011 originally for iOS, and eventually Android smartphones, as well. In the game, you can choose from several players: Guy Dangerous, an explorer; Scarlett Fox, an escape artist; Barry Bones, a city cop; Karma Lee, the fastest runner in the Far East; Montana Smith, the "second greatest explorer" ever; Francisco Montoya, a Spanish conquistador; or Zack Wonder, a football star. There were rumors back in 2013 that Warner Bros. would be bringing this game to the big screen via Harry Potter producer David Heyman. That has yet to be seen, but we're hoping it comes to fruition because the story would be centered around an explorer (most likely Guy Dangerous) who, having stolen an idol from the temple, is chased by demonic forces. Just like the game where players avoid the same while collecting coins, etc. Hopefully, this one eventually makes it to the big screen, but in the meantime, we came across this B-movie rendition of the trailer above for your enjoyment.

7. Words With Friends

Don't get excited yet! Words With Friends hasn't been turned into a TV game show yet, but we're hoping it will be — ahem, attention all TV network producers — because it would be interesting to see if people really are as good, in person, in real-time, as they are in the smartphone app (without cheating, of course). Throw in a dash of celebrity guest contestants, some high stakes, a handsome prize, and boom, you've got yourself a winner. 

Cover image via Shutterstock.

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