Both the website and mobile app benefit from all the same features, saving and sharing your favourite videos, and the iOS and web interface are practically identical, so you won’t be missing out on anything as far as the Squrl experience is concerned. All features listed in this review of the iOS app also apply to the website itself.
After downloading the free app from the iTunes store, you’ll be prompted to create a new account, or sign in using your Facebook account. You can also create your account on the Squrl website.
If you choose the former, you will then be prompted to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Squrl for easy sharing of the videos you collect and watch using the app.
Not only can you share individual videos, but you can also share entire collections of videos, as well as selectively share with either your followers, a social network or both at the same time.
When it comes to sharing the videos, you won’t have any control over the content of the tweet or Facebook post, with both posts using the same text. and with Facebook, videos aren’t automatically embedded in your profile, but rather they contain a link to the video on Squrl.
On iOS devices, Squrl is divided into three tabs – My Videos, Discover and Community. Under Discover, you can search for videos using the various services linked in to the app. Squrl aggregates videos from various services including YouTube, Vimeo, TED, Funny or Die and Revision3, amongst others.
Accessing any given video service will bring you to that site’s homepage as you would see it on the web, and in some cases, such as YouTube, the mobile site will be displayed. You can then search the video service for the videos of your choice and save them.
Under My Videos you can access your video queue, your galleries, recent activity and messages. Once you’ve searched for a video, you have two choices of what to do with the video. You can add them to your queue, the home tab when you open Squrl, to quickly watch the video later, or you can create a new gallery of videos, that will be shared with your Squrl followers.
The queue is useful for adding videos you will delete or organise into collections later.
Squrl over-complicates things just a little bit when it comes to creating galleries, as you have to go through two steps when saving videos. First, you add the video to a Gallery.
Next you have to add it to yet another sub-category, or Collection. Unless you’re an incredibly organized person, the sub-folder may seem a bit superfluous. It would be nice to have the option to choose between using one or two folders.
Your galleries are then viewable as a grid, which can be sorted by date modified, name, most viewed or top rated videos.
The last tab, Community, is where Squrl’s social network aspect comes in. While you can easily share videos from Squrl directly with your Twitter or Facebook friends, Squrl also has its own social network built in, where you can follow other members to keep up with the videos they save to their galleries. You can discover other users by keeping an eye on the activity page, displaying the latest videos that have been watched or ‘squrled.’
You can also keep an eye on the featured galleries, under the Videos tab.
Or you can take a list of the top curators.
Not only can you follow users, you can also choose to follow specific collections they have created. To do this, open up the user’s gallery, and click the ‘squrl it’ button at the top of the page. This will then allow you to select which specific collections you want to follow. The gallery will then be added to your Videos page, and when it is updated by its curator, you will receive a notification. You will also receive notifications when shows you subscribe to from sites like Revision3 are updated.
If there was one more feature we could add to the Squrl wish-list, it would definitely be offline viewing using the iOS app.
What app do you use to watch videos on your iOS device? What do you think of Squrl? Let us know in the comments.
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