We got a sneak peek at Dish's Explorer app earlier today, but now we're able to provide a closer look. This application serves as a "second screen" -- it's most useful when you're in front of the TV, and essentially replaces your standard remote control with a social media-enabled content-rich touchscreen experience. That means full Twitter and Facebook integration, with sidebars to outline what your friends or contacts are watching at that very moment, so you don't end up feeling left out when your office's favorite show is discussed at the water cooler the next day. The app also ranks current shows based on their popularity on Twitter, updated in realtime, and organizes programs by category, displaying movies sorted by genre, or current televised sporting events.
You can also search for films and television shows, and once you've come across one you'd like to watch, you can tap to watch it now (your linked TV will flip to that channel immediately), then tweet your impressions, complete with the proper (pre-loaded) hashtag. We spent a few minutes poking around Explorer, and the app seemed to work well, with an intuitive structure and useful added content, such as a Rotten Tomatoes rating atop each film's cover art. It's a useful way to discover more about whatever you happen to be watching currently, while also serving to help you locate interesting content amid a sea of programming garbage. Dish Explorer will be available beginning later this month.