They Might Be Giants (App)
The They Might Be Giants app is a free application for iOS and Android devices.
The app premiered on the iOS App Store on January 21, 2013, the day before the Nanobots EP became available for download. On May 15, 2013, the Android-compatible version was released on Google Play. The app was designed in collaboration with Hine Mizushima, Paul Sahre, and Jonathan Coulton's henchman, Scarface. Android development was headed by Micah Galizia.
A mobile elaboration upon the TMBG Clock Radio experience, the app provides full songs and links to purchase them. A new song is added on a daily basis, in the style of Dial-A-Song, with the five most recent tracks available every day. However, songs added on previous days may still be temporarily playable through the app on an iOS device even after they are removed, making it possible for six or more songs to be available at one time on that specific device. Songs used in advertisements, studio tracks, and previously released rarities are featured via the application.
The app premiered in 2013 with three songs from Join Us: "The Lady And The Tiger", "Judy Is Your Viet Nam", and "Never Knew Love". In February, alongside merch associated with the then-upcoming Nanobots album, the TMBG merch store unveiled an exclusive new T-shirt featuring artwork of the cassette from the app. The shirt is occasionally available for purchase. A skateboard deck featuring the same design was also available for a time.
According to a mailing list update, the app originally vaguely followed a schedule of newer songs on Tuesdays, the band's children's material on Thursdays, and early-era tunes for "Throwback Fridays".
The homescreen of the app is an image of a felt cassette tape, which was created by Hine Mizushima. There are five "buttons" the user can use to interact with the app:
- Next: skips to the next song available
- Get: brings the user to the purchase page for the current song on iTunes or the Google Play Store
- ▸: pauses or plays the current track
- URL: provides links to other TMBG web presence
- ?: Currently, this button takes you to the Dial-A-Song website. Originally, it played a mysterious video of William Allen White, pausing the current track. The video can still be viewed on Paul Sahre's Instagram page.
Each time the "play" button is pressed, or when the screen of the device is tapped, the current track title is displayed in Helvetica. Words that do not fit across the screen of the device are problematically broken up between lines without hyphenation.
Screens are taken from the iOS version of the app, except where noted.