Many apps available for smartphones claim to have enough intelligence to sniff out a user’ preferences from different sources, and then come up with content that is bound to be of interest. Quite recently, we covered an app named rabt for iOS, which creates a video collection based on your feedback. Other similar apps learn from your reading habits over time, and then there are a few like News.me that show posts depending upon your activity on different social networks. Material is not very different from News.me, but in our experience, the app looks much neater. Also, Material is great at arranging posts into a variety of topics, and discovers your interests with great precision, too. The fact that the app is available on both iOS and Android simply adds to its overall appeal.
Anyone who is a bit reluctant to use a social network to sign in to a third-party service is sure to find Material disappointing, since the app only offers two login options: Twitter and Facebook. This makes sense though, as the whole concept behind Material requires full access to social accounts. For more accuracy, users can connect both accounts with the app, but it is not mandatory.
In our experience, the topics gathered by Material from the social media feed match the actual interests of the user pretty closely. Even the position of each entry is not random, as the app is smart enough to keep hot topics near the top. The news stream for each topic contains a limited number of stories, allowing you to get through the lot in a few minutes. Most articles are accompanied by cover photos to make it easier for users to decide whether they should open them or not.
Material pulls its contents from a vast variety of sources, including news sites, blogs, and RSS feeds. The stories aren’t too long in general. From the top of the screen, users can share an article via email or social media. To view the article as it appeared on its original source, hit the double arrow icon. For navigation, you can either make use of the two up and down icons, or simply swipe all the way down the article until the next one in the topic shows up.
You can manually add topics to your Material feed by heading to the sidebar and swiping downwards. From the search box, it is possible to look for any keyword and then add it to the list of topics you are already following.
Material is a free app, and can be found on both iOS and Android by heading to the following links.