Identify music, shows, and commercials
Shazam's main function is "tagging" or recognizing media it can hear though your iPhone's microphone. When you hear a song playing you don't recognize, you can touch the Shazam button in the bottom center of your screen and the app will "listen," then display the name of the song on your screen along with album art, buying information, and a list of things you can do with your tagged song.
The list of options is extensive, letting you listen on Spotify or Rdio, watch related videos on YouTube, preview or buy the song on iTunes, look at artist info, and even sing along with lyrics. There are also sharing options for posting it to Twitter and Facebook, or you can send via e-mail, Messages, WhatsApp, and Google+. In other words, when I said extensive, I meant it.
The app also has the option to listen for music, television shows, and commercials automatically, even when the app is turned off. By hitting a switch in the upper right corner, the app will continue listening and log what it hears so you can come back to it later. This is a great feature if you're listening to a good segment of music on the radio, for example, because you'll know that every song has been catalogued so you can buy them at a later time.
Shazam also works with supported television shows and commercials. With some shows, you can hit the tag button, and get more information about what you're watching. Commercials will bring up the product being advertised and give you options for buying, along with any current deals.
The only thing Shazam doesn't do as well as competitors like SoundHound is identify songs that you hum or sing. While it's not a huge problem, it's one of the few areas in which Shazam is not as good as other apps in the genre.
Shazam is one of the old standbys in the App Store that long ago made its name by identifying the music around you. But with several updates over the years, the app has become like a hub for entertainment in general, and with the redesigned interface, is much more pleasant to use.
In revisiting Shazam in this latest update, it's amazing to see the amount of useful new features that have been added to the app. Though we don't know what's in store for the app with the promised update in the next few weeks, it has already made significant moves from being just a song identifier, to more of an overall entertainment hub.