Showyou 3.0 launches today, and if you watch videos on an iPad, a Kindle Fire, an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you need to try it. If you have an Apple TV, so much the better. Showyou brings in all the videos from your various social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. It displays them for you in a glorious, sweeping grid organized by magic. The new version makes browsing a little more down-to-earth, too (in a good way), adding category channels, browsable lists for individual users, and an easier navigation tray.
We’ve compared Showyou’s previous versions to Flipboard and Instapaper, which is pretty esteemed company for an iOS app. As a set of features, those comparisons are apt. But the interface takes it a step further. The app takes full advantage of the touchscreen. It’s a better interface than TV has ever had. And you don’t just watch on your device; you can AirPlay it to your Apple TV and just use Showyou as the remote. Whatever it was about TV that Steve Jobs said he “finally cracked,” it was probably something like this.
Showyou has this figured out in so many ways. No other app has this grid interface, for one thing. The main screen of all your videos flows under your fingers like Microsoft’s Surface or something out of Minority Report, except this is something you can have right now.
When you go further in to the app, whether you’re browsing a category or a friend’s videos, the interface is reined in a little, going to a simpler, scrolling column. The new navigation drawer helps you get reoriented quickly and easily.
The sources of the videos in Showyou are your friends and the people you follow. It connects to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Vimeo and Vodpod, which is a video curation site by Remixation, the company that makes Showyou. There are also some publisher channels, like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, TED and more. The main grid shows videos from all the sources you’re following, and you can narrow down by source, by topic or hashtag, or by the person sharing. It even has pretty fast search using all that social metadata, with an index of nearly 30 million videos so far.
Showyou is free, and it will become ad-supported as it grows. It’s also considering a subscription service for certain shows or publishers. The big question is whether Showyou will get licenses for major TV shows or movies. “Not yet,” its people say. “Maybe soon.” But YouTube viewing is eclipsing TV, anyway. For iPad or Kindle Fire owners, or even for iPhone and iPod Touch, Showyou should be in your living room.