There is no shortage of apps on the market to help users find new, interesting videos to watch and enjoy. But video discovery startup Squrl still thinks there’s work to be done. The company just released a new version of its iPhone and iPad app that provides new ways to share with friends and find content that is more personally relevant to them.
The new version of Squrl comes with a big redesign that breaks down the design and puts the content or categories that are most important on the front page of the app. There are now nine options available on the home screen, highlighting Featured videos and What’s Hot, as well as Channels, Recommendations and what users have liked, watched or added to their queues.
The typography has gotten bigger and there are simpler icons to click on. And once users have clicked on a certain icon, that icon changes dynamically to highlight content that viewers will see in that section. That gives a little bit of a preview into what’s available to users.
Those cosmetic changes are designed to simplify navigation throughout the app, but Squrl has done a lot more under the hood to improve recommendations and provide more relevant videos. The app combines the search and customize options so that users can customize the channels from within that screen.
There’s also been a big upgrade to its recommendations engine, which uses collaborative filtering and interest-based matching to serve up videos based on what its users have already watched. The app needs users to watch about four or five videos to get started, but once that’s happened, it creates a stream of videos that should interest viewers.
With the update, Squrl has also made its app more social. While it has always been easy for users to share with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, they can now share content and communicate with others within the app, as well. It’s improved the Find Friends feature inside the app, and enabled private messages so that users can share videos and chat privately with each other.
Squrl provides access to videos from a whole bunch of on-demand and live aggregators, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, TED, Vimeo, Aol, and Blip.tv. Users who want to download the newest version of the app can get it here.