Peel yesterday released a major update to its ‘Smart Remote’ app for Android. Just last month, we wrote about how the new Samsung Galaxy S5 would be preloaded with a ‘Smart Remote’ app powered by Peel’s smartRemote technology.
The new updates to the app includes better TV content recommendations and social media features. Despite the new social enhancements, when we interviewed Thiru Arunachalam, CEO and co-founder of Peel, about the announcement that Peel would be preloaded on the Galaxy S5, Arunachalam made it clear that Peel does not see itself as a social TV company. Said Arunachalam at the time: “Twitter has won the battle and social TV companies are either dead or dying. We are a smart remote technology.”
On the content recommendation front, the ‘Smart Remote’ app will include categories such as ‘Tonight on TV,’ ‘Weekend TV’ and ‘Not to Be Missed,’ curating for users selections of must-watch shows and movies. The app also includes improved reminder features, making it easier for users to set up calendar notifications when a show of interest is set to air.
New social features include Twitter feeds on the individual show pages inside the Peel app. Peel’s algorithm pulls in all trending Twitter hashtags around a show to keep viewers in the know about the most talked about topics.
“Twitter conversation rarely centers around one hashtag,” explains Bala Krishnan, co-founder and chief product officer for Peel. “Trending hashtags and conversations can pop up at any time as events unfold so we wanted to make sure we pulled in all the relevant ones from the Twittersphere. Our team found the way to do all the work for you so all you have to do is read and react, in real time, right from the Peel app.”
The updated version of the ‘Smart Remote’ app is now available on most Samsung smartphones and will be available for other devices in coming weeks. According to Peel, the company has more than 60 million activated users in 200 countries and is currently handling three billion monthly remote commands.