As powerful as the Hopper DVR can be, it largely exists in an app vacuum: to date, only official releases like Dish Explorer and Dish Social have had access. Dish is giving its set-top box some much needed flexibility, however, by offering the Hopper's APIs to third-party developers. The expansion lets non-Dish mobile apps control the Hopper directly, whether it's switching to a live show or scheduling a recording. Thuuz Sports (shown above) is the first app to take advantage of the APIs, although we wouldn't expect a flood of releases afterwards -- Dish is screening developers for privacy issues and "other considerations." Still, the move represents a rare level of openness in an industry that frequently insists on self-brandedsoftware.