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iPhone App Review: Shufflr

iPhone App Review: Shufflr

June 25th, 2011 by

Finding videos to watch online sometimes feels like a full-time job… and for some people it probably is. The potential pool of content is so large and fractured that it’s almost impossible to sit down at a computer and find something truly new to enjoy. Shufflr is a social video app that is designed to bring you fresh video content tailored to your interests: let the app recommend videos based on your interests, watch what your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter, catch videos that are currently “buzzing” in the social cloud, and even queue videos from a Shufflr bookmarklet and watch them later on the go.

How It Works

After creating an account either in the app or on the website, you are asked to pick a few categories of videos that you are interested in.

  • The “Star” option on the bottom menu shows you the app’s recommended videos.
  • The “Social” option shows you what videos have been Tweeted or shared by people you follow in social media.
  • “Buzz” is what’s currently trending in social spaces.
  • “Q” is what you’ve bookmarked using the ShufflrQ bookmarklet. You can bookmark a video online and it will show up in your “Q” on your device.
  • The last option on the menu brings up a list of other channels and options for browsing through videos, including a way to discover people with similar tastes to yours and a way to dig down into the different video categories.

The app’s interface can be adjusted to show basic video thumbnails in a grid or to show them in  card-type lineup that shows you more information on each video at a glance. Other options in the app include the ability to “like” videos, add them to your “Q” for later, tag them, or share the video with a custom message to your Facebook or Twitter feed.

Pros And Cons

Shufflr is a seriously cool service, and the iOS app is slick and attractive. You can browse videos dozens of different ways, but my favorite view by far is the Social tab. Being able to flick through just the videos that are shared on Twitter and Facebook without having to wade through miles of worthless status updates is a great feature on its own, and almost worthy of being an app unto itself. Another great feature is the bookmarklet, especially for those who still have day jobs and need a quick way to mark videos for watching later. Just add it to your ShufflrQ and watch them later, either from the website itself or from the mobile app. The requisite sharing features and social aspects of the app are all done extremely well and provide for a well-integrated social video sharing experience.

My only issue with the iOS app was in getting started: I never could. I eventually gave up on setting up the account from within the app and just went to the website instead, where it all went smooth as butter. Created an account, then entered those details into the app, and it synced and shared like a charm.

My trouble with setting up an account from within the app went down like this, and I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible. I’m sharing just in case it was an isolated issue to my device, my account, or my stupidity:

  • Tried to use my Facebook credentials to set up a new account: no luck. Every time I hit “Allow” on the Facebook screen it crashed the app.
  • Moved on to create a new account from scratch: this may have worked, but since it doesn’t ask you for a password twice (i.e. it doesn’t ask you to confirm the password you’re trying to create), it’s entirely possible that I misspelled my intended password, so….
  • I went to the website and set up my account there, using my Twitter credentials. I’m confused as to why the service requires a Twitter account to set up online but does not give you the option of using your Twitter credentials to make a new account within the app, but there you go.

Once I got past that minor though frustrating account creation issue, the app itself functioned flawlessly and without crashing. I should also mention that I haven’t been able to watch any of the Comedy Central content, but since all of the other video sources play flawlessly I suspect this may be an issue with Comedy Central’s playback and not with the Shufflr app itself.


Other than the psychotic account-creation process, the app is a fantastic way to discover new videos. The social browsing functions alone make the app worth downloading, not to mention the beautiful interface and fast performance. Download this today if you like to watch videos on your device or want a way to bookmark videos for later viewing on the go.

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