Since its launch in August 2012, Medium has become an increasingly visible place for people to publish their observations and musings on a variety of subjects. The platform was initially invite-only, but opened up to everyone last October. Now, users will be able to engage with that content on the go, as the company released its first mobile app for iPhone on Thursday.
Co-founded by Twitter’s Evan Williams and Biz Stone, Medium is at its best when curating stories across the platform, bringing the most salient stories to the top. The mobile app, takes that curation one step further, piecing together a list of content based on who you follow on Twitter. For example, my Medium instantly populated with stories on “Changing Journalism,” “Technology and Society,” and snippets from Mother Jones. The app encourages users to follow these channels to push more relevant content to the top.
However, with such a keen focus on relevancy, there isn’t a lot of room to aimlessly explore. I found the search function lacking — it’s hard to find a specific article, unless it’s located in the “Latest” or “Trending” channels. This also means that older content is more difficult to find, and only readers with intimate knowledge of Medium’s channels will have success finding particular pieces of content.
Medium’s app is specifically for readers– if you’re looking to create a post, you’ll still have to do it on the web. Medium mentions in the FAQ on the app that a writing feature for the app is in the works, but no date has been set for its launch. There also seems to be no way to take Medium’s content offline for a period of time, so some commuters may opt to continue saving Medium posts to a reader like Instapaper rather than accessing the app directly.
The app is clean, concise, and easy to read even on an iPhone screen, but it’s begging to be translated into a “full-fat” iPad experience that will likely be more definitive than this first step.