Quora answers questions about mobile growth by adding Android app

Android users will have another way to stay connected with Quora, the incredibly popular crowdsourced question and answer site, when the company launches its new Android app on Wednesday.

Quora Android screenshot widgetQuora launched in mid-2010 and released an iPhone app in September 2011, responding to huge growth as it went from a site populated mainly by tech nerds to one with mainstream appeal. The site now gets more than 25 percent of all traffic from mobile, and the founders said that releasing an app for Android was a natural response to consumer demand. The app will be available Wednesday in both the Google Play and Amazon Kindle Fire stores.

The founders explained that they wanted to build a native Android experience different from the existing mobile website. So the app takes advantage of Android’s voice recognition technology with voice-activated search, and allows Android users to add Quora results to the phone’s pool of search results. Users can also use the Android share option to post Quora items to a variety of social media sites and share content with friends.

The app will also have a Quora widget displaying a preview of the best or trending questions across the platform. The widget will direct users back into the app for answers to questions like “Why is it so cold in Starbucks?” and “How did Tom Hardy build his body for the role of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises?”

The founders said they had expected users wouldn’t be as interested in writing long, extended responses on a mobile device, but they’ve found that isn’t the case; people use the mobile website and iPhone app similarly to how they use the desktop version. They said users especially like it for accessing longform reading material on the go. So the Android app will have almost all the same functionality as the web version, and allow for reading even when the mobile device isn’t connected to the internet.