Squrl for iOS review: A one-stop hub for videos from around the Web

4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Squrl lets you search many of the Web's most popular video sites. It also serves up video recommendations, and has an interface that's both simple and attractive.

The Bad A Home button and a way to bookmark favorite channels would be nice.

The Bottom Line Rather than jumping around the Web to watch videos, download the beautifully designed Squrl, and use it as your one-stop video hub.

Free

8.5 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 10.0
  • Features and Support 8.0
  • Interface 9.0
  • Performance 9.0

Squrl is a streaming-video player that lets you search and browse many of the Web's most popular video services, all from one place. The main dashboard offers a number of ways to quickly find interesting videos from around the Web, and even has a powerful engine for serving personalized recommendations. What's more, Squrl didn't degrade the video quality from its original sources, and playback seemed to be smooth without any glitches or freezes.

While it's not required, we suggest connecting Squrl with your various social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Netflix, in order to get the most out of the app. By doing so, you essentially open up other channels that Squrl can sift through, which ultimately means more video access for you. Also, once you're connected, the app can take these sources into consideration when it comes up with recommendations for you to watch. Squrl looks at not only the content that you've consumed, but also what your connections on Facebook and Twitter have liked or shared, which make it a great source for good video recommendations.

When you first boot up Squrl, the thing you'll notice is its beautiful interface. The ample white space, sans-serif type, and single-color icons make for a refreshingly minimalist visual experience. Video thumbnails are sharply rendered, and navigating content is as easy as swiping vertically and horizontally. The global Search and Back buttons up top are nice touches, but there's one thing missing: a Home button. Without one, backing out of a deep browsing session can get tedious and involve several taps. That said, even without the Home button, we still enjoy zipping around Squrl's many different pages.

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