For all the great videos on the web, picking which ones to watch has never been much fun. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo suggest related videos for you to watch, but often require a lot of decision-making on your part. YouTube's TV interface will choose videos for you and play them back to back, but it still asks you to pick a channel before diving in. A true TV experience for web video — something you can simply turn on — has proven elusive. Now ShowYou, an app that collects and highlights all the videos being shared across your social networks, is trying to change that.
With an update to the iPad app today, ShowYou will now begin playing your personalized video stream as soon as you open the app. (It will continue to work as before on iPhone and the web.) Previously on iPad, you had to pick a channel or individual video from a guide. Now, with a single tap, you begin watching everything in your feed. When you connect networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, the app surfaces the day's most popular videos and plays them automatically.
An app that's better for mindless channel surfing
The result is an app that's better for the sort of mindless channel surfing that television is usually better at. ShowYou takes the guesswork out of surfing viral videos, making it better for extended browsing than many of its peers. I only wish its algorithms were better: I often found the same one or two publishers popping up in my feed. There's plenty of variety in ShowYou's collections, but the feed can be disappointingly narrow.
Still, the update is worth a look. The amount of mobile video we consume is skyrocketing, and our options for sorting through the best stuff remain frustratingly limited. ShowYou offers a glimpse of what the future could look like — a single, personalized channel that brings you a world of high-quality video with a single tap.