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Technology: Spoiler Shield

What is it?

An app that protects you from annoying TV spoilers on the web.

How will it change my life? When on holiday most people just want to relax with a book poolside or idly potter around the beachfront pondering the next meal or nap. The last thing you want is an irate social media addict wife cursing the internet's careless whispers that have divulged the plotline to the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. Having set up all our favourite shows to record while we were away, it reminded me of an episode of The Likely Lads where they are trying to avoid the England football result before they can get home to watch it (they ultimately failed too).

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Spoiler Shield, as the name suggests, protects you from the raft of loose-lipped musings floating around social media sites by cleverly filtering the content. There are categories for television, sport and celebrities - with more being added almost every day. You download the application, log into either Facebook or Twitter, then select a category to see the list of shows or sporting events that can be excluded from your view.

Other applications promise the same features but often rely too much on catching hashtags or keywords. These methods are effective but impede the slickness of the sites as each tweet is enumerated for the banned words. Spoiler Shield seems to deploy a different model to filter out the tweets and messages you want to avoid.

Good points: The app was easy to install and provides a flowing wizard-type interface to get you up and running without any ambiguity. The only set-up options are based on which social media sites you wish the application to interface with, such as Twitter or Facebook.

The listings of television shows provided also had the added bonus of introducing me to new programmes I'd never heard but which piqued my interest as they were accompanied by big hitters such as Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and House Of Cards.

Bad points: The list of content to filter is still a bit limited and tends to be a tad US-centric, although there are options for English Premier League teams. The on/off sliders are arguably a little cumbersome and the font is so huge on the iPad version that you have to keep scrolling for a while. A sleeker design with smaller fonts and a tick-box system would have been better.

Best for: Television junkies also hooked on social media sites.

Avoid if: You can't control the remaining variables. After all, there is no point hiding from a football result and waiting for the highlights if you can hear the neighbours through the wall screaming at every goal.

Score: 6/10, this type of app is only as good as the number of shows it lists.

Spoiler Shield, £ Free (spoilershield.com)

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

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