If I’m not playing games or browsing through Reddit on my tablet, I’m probably watching videos on it — can you blame me? Google’s Nexus 7 is perfectly sized to allow you to easily catch up with the latest and greatest videos that YouTube has to offer, whether I’m on the couch, lying in bed or in the kitchen. I subscribe to scores on channels to get my fix, and I’m always on the lookout for new content to enjoy. I recently found a great app for this that I can’t believe I didn’t stumble upon sooner: ShowYou.
Designed to bring together all the videos your friends and family share with you, along with lots more content to discover, ShowYou is sure to keep you entertained wherever you can get an internet connection. The well designed app also makes it easy to share what you’re watching and find new content to pique your interest, and is available for free in the Play Store. Grab some popcorn as we take a look at how ShowYou works.
ShowYou lets you check out all the videos shared with you on various social networks in one place, and additionally curates channels of videos into categories based on areas of interest — making for a video experience on your tablet that includes content you’re familiar with as well as new videos for you to discover. The app works great on tablets (including the Kindle Fire) and phones and connects to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Vimeo to pull up videos shared by your contacts.
Once you’ve created a ShowYou account, you can log in and connect your social network accounts — this lets the app find videos that your contacts are sharing and loads them up for you. You’ll also be prompted to follow contacts who are fellow ShowYou users, so that your feed also includes videos they share within the app.
Want more? ShowYou knows you do, and has a whole bunch of channels for you to subscribe to. Channels are essentially quality sources of content, and are grouped into categories, making it easy to find what you like. For example, the Nature & Science category pulls in content from Animal Planet, Popular Science, NASA TV, National Geographic and BBC Earth; the Comedy category includes channels like Comedy Central, Improv Everywhere, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Funny or Die, College Humor, The Daily Show and The Onion.
You can add as many channels as you like into your feed, and browse individual channels or even entire categories at once. If your friends have shared videos on social networks which are featured in these channels, you’ll get to see their post text as well, which is a nice touch. You can also browse videos shared by ShowYou users just as you would any branded channel — and you can even look up their followers as well as who they are following, allowing you to find more content that you’ll like.
ShowYou’s interface is neat and clean, and features a simple dark theme that makes video preview images stand out. You’ll be able to see which channel or user a video is coming from and what’s been said about it, and quickly star it to upvote within the ShowYou universe, share your thoughts with a single-tap sentiment or write a comment, share it within ShowYou — and with Facebook and Twitter if you like — and share it with another user or with any app on your device.
Watching videos is a plain-jane affair, however, with a stripped-down player and no support for swiping to navigate through videos.
Watching Videos With ShowYou
Over the past several days, I’ve been launching ShowYou every time I pick up my tablet, and it doesn’t disappoint. There’s a lot of great content and it’s all easy to access and share. The whole app is geared towards helping you find interesting videos to watch — even the search feature lists suggested searches based on what’s hot around the interwebs. Plus, I have completely different sets of friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, so it’s nice to be able to watch content shared by folks from both networks within a single app.
I especially love the channels that ShowYou has curated: together, they give you a great selection of content sources that’s very well rounded and cover a vast range of topics. I particularly enjoyed the Knowledge category, which features thought-provoking and informative content from Khan Academy, Mental Floss, and PBS Digital Studio — lots of neat talks, lectures, presentations and lists in here. Or if you’d like to stay on top of what everyone’s talking about around the world, try the Viral channel.
I also love the fact that you can dig into two channels specifically for YouTube and Vimeo: this thoughtful feature lets you enjoy your own curated channels just as you would in those video networks’ respective apps.
What I miss in ShowYou is the ability to save my watch history and also save videos into a queue to watch later, along with the context offered by the accompanying post text so I can recall why I saved the video or who I can thank for sharing it with me. The latter is available in the web/iOS versions of ShowYou and I hope it makes an appearance on Android too.
ShowYou is a must-have app for fans of web video: there’s something in here for everyone, and then some. The app is extremely simple to set up and use, and is currently perhaps the best way to watch all the video you can handle, on an Android device. Whether you want to relax and catch up with happenings on the web, learn something new or keep the kids busy for a few hours, ShowYou can handle it. Plus, it’s free — grab it now and prepare to lose several hours of your day to botched science experiments, Jimmy Kimmel bits and Louis CK.