When I think about Peel (the channel surfing/TV show recommendation app originally for iOS, not the crazy Chinese case of the same name which turns your iPod Touch into a phone) — I think of it as a sort of two-part formula: one part application, one part hardware. The app by itself is a fine little piece, complete with a slick design and a rather dang good behaviorally trained TV show recommendation engine — but without its accompanying, $99 IR blaster automatically tuning your TV to the right channel and acting as a universal remote, it all feels a bit.. incomplete.
It’s a bit strange, then, that the just-released Android build of the Peel app doesn’t support the aforementioned hardware add-on.
Absent add-on support aside, the Android app does almost everything its iOS counterpart does: it’ll automatically figure out where you are, which cable providers you might have, then show you all of the relevant TV showtimes for your area. It’ll keep track of your favorite shows and, after a few days, start recommending other shows that you might like. It just won’t tap into Peel’s pear-shaped accessory to change the channel for you — at least, not in this initial release.
We suspected as much when Peel’s press release lacked any mention of the hardware add-on, but a quick visit to their site confirmed it. In a note, Peel quietly cautions Android users with “Note: Peel universal control is currently only compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.“
I’ve e-mailed Peel for some insight on when (or if) support for their hardware counterpart might be added, and will update this post if we hear back.
Update: Support is coming. Here’s what Peel had to say:
The Peel fruit will support the Android app in the near future. FYI: The original iPhone app launched in September 2010, while the fruit launched this May. The large majority of Peel users utilize the app on its own. The Android app will be integrated much sooner though.
In the meantime, you can start teachin’ the free Peel for Android app all about your love for shows about perfectly-diverse High School singing groups by grabbing it from the Market right over here.