New Way to Discover Content
The maker of the first Facebook Phone, INQ has moved into the app arena. Last week we looked at the company’s SO.HO Launcher and today we set out sights on MATERIAL, INQ’s entry into the pretty crowded content discovery field.
In an effort to distinguish itself from the likes of Pulse and FlipBoard INQ sets out to analyse your social network use to identify your interests and tailor your content accordingly – feeding off what INQ calls your “social DNA”. When you first start up MATERIAL, you see the difference. You are not asked to sign up with news sources but rather you are asked to link MATERIAL to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The app then analyses those networks and picks out your interests, giving you a curated take on the news. In my case the app delivered stories on Business, Comics (not sur why) Music, Technology (a no brainer) and News(no surprise here) Material is delivering things I’ve already demonstrated an interest in socially. You can add topics, with a search function, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to reject content you don’t like.
MATERIAL is a really good looking app, great on my HTC one X. It is scaled for phone screens so not available for tablets. Colours are attractive and the layout of the stories is attractive. The stories are quite different than the ones I see on other news aggregators. They really are more relevant to my interests. MATERIAL seems to dig deeper into my topics that I would normally and has even n one day of use produced content that I enjoyed but probably would not have found otherwise.
Once you click on a story MATERIAL takes you to the original source, not some rehashed version..this I like. The app zooms in and focuses on the specific story you have selected but if you prefer to see the entire page in the original source you can choose to open it in a browser. I like the first option.
If you are into sharing there are a whole bunch of options that allow you to share to pretty much every sharing option on your phone, not surprising since MATERIAL is focused on finding content related to your social interests.
Short of the inability to remove unwanted topics I really like this app. MATERIAL opens quickly scrolls smoothly and opens selected stories quickly in a good looking easy to read browser. I can see it becoming my go to content discovery app. Oh and did I say it also looks stunning on my phone.
MATERIAL is currently available on the Google Play Store for Android smartphones, Tablets and iOS versions are in the works.