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Fuugo makes TV more social on iPad, Android and other smart devices

Finnish start-up Axel Technologies says its Fuugo TV and video app will make its European debut before the summer, mashing up broadcast TV, Internet TV and YouTube, as well as adding a social twist.

The BBC iPlayer for iPad app is very slick indeed, but the Beeb isn't the only company looking to push things forwards when it comes to watching TV on your tablet or smart phone. Finnish firm Axel Technologies has announced that its Fuugo application will be available in Europe in the second quarter of this year.

The idea behind Fuugo is pretty exciting. It aims to pull in broadcast TV channels, Internet TV and Web video, and mash it all up with a slinky touchscreen user interface. It also has TiVo-style recommendation features that suggest shows or videos you might like, while adding a social layer on top to help you tune into what your friends are watching.

Axel will show off the app at Mobile World Congress this week, running on the MeeGo operating system -- admittedly, not the best choice of OS given Nokia's decision to downgrade MeeGo to a longer-term 'project'. But Fuugo will also work on the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, along with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux netbooks and computers.

The company says the app will initially launch in Latin America in March, before making its debut in Europe during the second quarter of the year. It will work with the DVB-T broadcast standard in Europe, which means Freeview in the UK. Axel is looking to sign deals with device makers to include Fuugo in their products, so that's probably how we Brits will first get to see the service.

Think the features listed above sound good? We're even more intrigued by Fuugo's ability to act as a personal video recorder, time-shifting shows and making scheduled recordings.

Here's a video published by Axel during the CES trade show, which took place in January. It's part interview and part demo. We'll be keeping a keen eye on the company's plans for the UK, as socially enabled Freeview on the go is a tempting prospect.