MakeUseOf’s official Android app has just received a major update, bringing you an improved interface and much-requested features. For a better way to browse MakeUseOf, you’ll want the Android app.
The new app has a sleeker look, the ability to save articles for offline reading, an in-app browser for quickly previewing links, and login integration with your current MakeUseOf account.
Let’s take a look at all of the new features, shall we?
Download: MakeUseOf on the Google Play Store
Getting Started and Categories
When you first launch the app, you’ll be asked to subscribe to a few categories. If there are only certain sections at MakeUseOf that interest you, feel free to just choose those.
If you’d rather see everything that gets published on the site (and you might discover something new that you love), you can select All at the top.
If it feels like a lot of pressure to choose your favorite categories, don’t worry, you can always swipe in from the left and choose Edit topics to manage your list of categories.
Your home screen will then display the latest articles from all of your subscribed categories, but you can swipe in from the left and choose any specific category if you just want to browse a certain type of articles.
If you have already have a MakeUseOf account, you’ll want to start by logging in. To do that, press the 3-dot icon in the upper right, then select Login.
If you don’t yet have a MakeUseOf account, it’s easy to create one with your email address, or you can sign in quickly with Google or Facebook.
Having an account allows you to sync your subscriptions and bookmarks across devices for a unified experience. If you’re on your computer and see an article you like, you could just bookmark it to bring up on your smartphone later.
But of course, what you’re really here for is reading articles, right? Good news, it’s a breeze in the app. Simply scroll through and select any article. Articles load much quicker than they could on a mobile site, and the layout is nice and clean — even taking hints from Material Design.
See a link you want to follow? Go for it, you’ll stay inside the app thanks to the new in-app browser. This makes browsing much quicker and allows you to easily return to your place in the article.
Plus, you can change the font size of the articles, bookmark them, and share them easily using the buttons in the upper right.
Want to save some articles to read offline? From the home page, press the 3-dot icon in the upper right and select Offline Reading.
You’ll then be given a little prompt to be sure you want to download them, select Yes. The 10 most recent MakeUseOf articles will then be downloaded, including text and pictures. However, some posts have YouTube videos or other media embedded that won’t be viewable offline.
Still, this is a good way of ensuring that you have a seamless reading experience regardless of the stability of your Internet connection.
If you noticed the four tabs at the top of the app, you probably noticed that one them is Chats. If you tap on this tab or swipe over to it, you’ll be presented with a list of MakeUseOf Groups.
You can tap on any of these groups to see an overview of what they’re about. If it sounds interesting, tap the Join Group button. This will take you to the Play Store where you can download Grouvi, an app that’s like Whatsapp for topic-based chats.
With Grouvi, you can talk to people with similar interests and ask any tech-related questions you have. And the MakeUseOf integration means that you’ll be sure to run into like-minded folks.
Bookmarks and Deals
Moving along the tabs, you’ll see Saves and Deals. Saves is where you’ll find all of your bookmarks. Articles that you bookmarked on the web or within the app will appear here, and their text will be downloaded so that you can read them without an Internet connection.
The Deals section is integrated with StackSocial to bring you amazing deals on all sorts of tech-related goodies, like a $1,000 build-a-startup course for only $29.
There are some seriously awesome deals here and they’re updated regularly, so be sure to check back every once in awhile in case something catches your eye.
Download: MakeUseOf on the Google Play Store
What Do You Think?
That’s pretty much all there is to our newly updated MakeUseOf app. We think it offers a much better experience than a mobile site ever could, but we’d like to hear from you.
What do you like about the MakeUseOf app? What features would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments below!