I’m a newsaholic. I love consuming the latest news and updates from sources and topics that interest me. This can and does include items from social media, my favorite blogs and mainstream news sources, audio and video content and more.
On the home screen of my iPhone I’ve got a folder called News that contains apps like Flipboard, the new Digg reader, Circa and Yahoo News Digest among a handful of others. But there’s one particular app in that folder I turn to when I want to see stuff I know I won’t get in any of those other apps. It’s called Prismatic.
Prismatic surfaces content I’m interested in but wouldn’t normally find in other news apps.
Prismatic bills itself as a home for your interests. Traditionally, newsreader apps like Flipboard (which I love and use daily) have been great for following specific sources like TechCrunch, Pando Daily, The Verge or DailyTekk, for instance. Even Flipboard’s user-curated magazines come from a source: specific users. That’s all good and Flipboard’s design really can’t be beat in my opinion, but if Flipboard were my only source of news I’d be missing out on certain things.
Discovery is where Prismatic really shines. By taking a moment to add some general interests from categories like design, architecture, vegetarianism, minimalism, startups, etc. (those are just a few of the 50+ that I chose), Prismatic serves up some really great content recommendations. But you can enhance and personalize those recommendations even further by connecting Twitter or Facebook accounts. I know I already mentioned this before a few paragraphs ago, but Prismatic really does surface content I want to read that I wouldn’t otherwise find from any other news apps.
A really cool feature in Prismatic is the ability to comment and see other people’s comments on stories. When you click on a story, you immediately see what other people are saying about that story. It’s great for adding a bit of context and seeing what other people’s opinions are on a given subject. It definitely enhances the reading experience. And these comments live within the app itself, rather than get pulled from an outside source like Twitter, so they are unique and you won’t find them anywhere else. Commenting on an article yourself if quick and easy and may land you some followers on the service.
A really cool feature in Prismatic is the ability to comment and see other people’s comments on stories.
You can also vote on stories by liking or disliking them from within the list view (your feed) or from within a story. Again, the social aspect is really nice. You can see how many people have given a story a thumbs up or down which may help you decide whether a story is worth reading. Right next to these buttons is a star button for favoring stories—and I have to say this app makes it easy to find those stories later on compared to many other news apps (a definite bonus).
I can’t end this review without mentioning the brilliant way the app displays photos in the list/stream view. When you open the app you see a list of stories. Each story has a title, source, time stamp (how recently it was published), some photos and the voting icons. But rather than displaying one featured image, you can actually swipe through a number of related images without even clicking on the full story. Trust me, it’s cool.
If you’re looking for a news app that will help you branch out and discover new things, Prismatic is a must-download.