You may remember Peel as the maker of the pear-shaped hardware device which sits in between your smartphone an TV, turning your phone into a universal remote control. Today, as promised, the company has updated its companion mobile application with more social features that allow you to share the shows you’re viewing, see what your friends and family are watching, post recommendations and comment on others’ posts.
Dubbed “Peel 2.0,” the newly refreshed app works as a standalone interface for social TV viewing or it can be paired with the Peel Smart Remote Device, sold separately. Upon first launch, the new Peel app asks you to help configure its recommendations, by telling it your zip code, TV provider, as well as your preferred genres of TV programming (e.g., sports, news, soaps, thrillers, comedy, drama, etc.), then ranking them in the proper order via drag-and-drop. You can also optionally include your age range and gender for more targeted recommendations.
Once set up, the app’s “Top Picks” section will feature Peel’s personalized suggestions. And the more you interact with the app, the better these recommendations will become. In addition to the Top Picks, buttons at the bottom let you switch between TV shows, movies and sports. The last button takes you to the Social section, where you can view the activity feed of your friends’ activity.
You can connect to Facebook to find your friends, and then view their favorite shows, within the app, too. Your activity is not shared out to social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, unless you explicitly tap the “Recommend” button for the show in question. That will make users a bit more careful about sharing outside of the app, as a “recommendation” holds more weight than something like “I’m watching….”, which is what competitor GetGlue does, for example.
Others in this increasing crowded social TV space include IntoNow, yap.TV and Comcast’s Tunerfish, to name a few, which gives Peel a lot of competition. But Peel’s interface is pretty nice – you can flip through shows with a swipe and scroll through each section’s filters with a little wheel at the top – so the app is fun to use.
You can grab Peel 2.0 for free here on iTunes.