Second screen app Boxfish takes its TV-guide-killing self to the iPhone

iphone boxfishToday, second screen TV app Boxfish is launching its iPhone app. In August, Boxfish debuted its iPad app, which is essentially a means for helping users break out of the dysfunctional excel spreadsheet called TV guide we currently deal with.

The idea around Boxfish is to capture every word spoken on television along with Twitter trends to create an interactive, customizable platform for browsing and controlling what’s on television. The control function is literal: The app connects with your cable box to change the channel to your selected content (provided you’re using one of Boxfish’s partners – whose ranks are growing).

Boxfish CEO Eoin Dowling tells me the iPhone app essentially functions like the iPad app, with some aesthetic exceptions (screen size related, generally). “It’s a much more focused experience,” he says, adding you get the same set top box control as you do with the iPad app.

The team quietly rolled out the iPhone app last week, and already received plenty of user feedback and reactions. “Session usage is already spiking,” says Dowling. “People just use it more than the iPad – our findings show that people are in a ‘learn forward’ experience with the iPad, and the iPhone works better in ‘lean back’ mode.”

Insights to user behavior aren’t limited to the iPhone, however. Since the launch of Boxfish’s iPad app, the team has made plenty of changes to the tablet version as well. “We’ve moved to a tile UI that constantly updates your topics and channels,” says Dowling. “It’s a much more visual and simple navigation and discovery UI.”

“We found that even though there was a huge, highly active segment that were searching, the majority were making much more use of the ‘favorites’ [category],” he tells me. “We found that people just want to know what’s on. The majority just want a lean back experience.” He says Boxfish is moving more in this direction, while continuing to offer up the option of interactivity, but also becoming a passive app that serves as a background tool.

Change in Boxfish’s dynamic isn’t limited to its product: The team picked up Instagram designer Tim Van Damme for its board, and if there’s anything to be said about Instagram, it’s a heightened attention to aesthetics. “Tim’s all about the simple details. If there’s one thing he’s brought to the experience it’s the focus on simplicity. We’ve spent the last year building a monster technical and data-heavy platform; it’s been immense to have someone with such vast product experience to come in with fresh eyes and a laser focus on the user.”

Today’s iPhone app launch also brings with it Boxfish’s new AT&T integration, and the startup has a handful of other partnerships in the works. Also on the roadmap? The Android app. Dowling says the platform’s fragmentation would have made for a poor user experience at launch and the team is choosing to wait on a release. For now, you can check out Boxfish for iOS, available in the App Store today

Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Home Theater

Viacom deal brings more entertainment options to sports-first streamer FuboTV

If you’re looking for a live TV streaming service, with a big emphasis on sports, FuboTV could be exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.
Movies & TV

ESPN Plus is a great sports companion. Here's everything you need to know

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN Plus, arrived in 2018. Despite appearances, ESPN Plus isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways. We answer all your questions in this guide.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Movies & TV

LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 gets an official release date

LeBron James has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce his upcoming Space Jam sequel, with Terence Nance attached to direct the film. Space Jam 2 is expected to hit theaters in July 2021.
Home Theater

Apple may be making noise-canceling headphones safer to use on the streets

Over-the-ear headphones are massively popular, but they block a lot of outside sounds, which increases the risk of accidents. A new Apple invention hints at a way to have great sound, and great safety, and it might be coming soon.
Movies & TV

Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry

MoviePass may be the industry leader in subscription-based movie ticket sales, but the company's troubles have opened the door for competitors AMC Stubs A-List, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club. Here's how the services compare.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.