The official MakeUseOf app is here, and it’s not just a wrapper for the mobile website — it’s a speedy new app with a bunch of great features. Give it a try, and you won’t want to go back to browsing on the web.
To commemorate this event, we’re giving away a brand new 64GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge! There’s no better way to enjoy our new app than on this great new smartphone. Join the giveaway below.
So what exactly makes the MakeUseOf app so special? Let’s take a look through it.
Download: MakeUseOf for Android, free from the Google Play Store
App vs. Mobile Website
As you can see from the screenshots above, the MakeUseOf app takes on a completely different look from the mobile website. You can scroll through articles with large header images and bigger text, which I feel like is a better way to catch up on articles you may have missed. It has the feel of some of the best news reader apps on Android.
There are also four tabs along the top for switching between new articles, articles you’ve saved, deals, and chats (more on those features later).
Movement through the app was slick in my testing. Articles seem to load fast and scrolling isn’t an issue as it can be in some Android apps.
The only thing you might notice when loading up the app for the first time is that you can’t log in with your website account and have the same section alerts, but that integration is coming soon.
The app also lacks a search function, but you can expect to see that coming in a future update as well.
Aesthetically, everything is white and light blue, which I find to be simple and easy on the eyes. The app fits nicely with other modern apps on your Android device, and even has aspects of Material Design in there. It’s clear that it was designed for 2015.
Browsing New Articles
So let’s just say you want to read new articles every once in a while, as most people probably do when they head to MakeUseOf. How can the app change your experience at all?
By tapping on the Topics section under the Topics tab, you can choose which sections (categories) you want to receive updates from. Whichever sections you choose will be the ones that show up in your feed. Want to see only Android articles? (As the Android Section Editor, I can say they’re pretty great.) Then only turn on the Android section.
You can adjust which sections you’re subscribed to by tapping the cog icon in the lower right of that part of the app. Or you can just click on an individual section if you prefer to read different sections one at a time.
Once you’re in an article, you’ll notice only a thin blue bar running along the top. That bar has the option to save that article (more on that in one second, I promise) or share it out to another app.
Scrolling is fluiding as you make your way through the article, and at the end, you see live groups that are available related to the article you’re reading.
You might also notice that there’s no comments section here, though that’s coming in a future update as well, given the generally helpful nature of the comments sections at MakeUseOf.
Saving Articles and Great Deals
Alright, remember how I mentioned saving articles a moment ago? Head on over to the second tab in the app, and you can scroll through any articles that you’ve saved. It’s pretty convenient for catching up on specific articles.
They’ll even be there when you go offline, though the images won’t be. Again, that’s something that’s coming in a future update.
The third tab is called Deals, and that’s integrated with StackSocial to bring you really great deals on things that are relevant to you. I know a lot of us tend to tune out things like that, but I’ve genuinely found some useful deals through them, and I’m sure you will too.
You can scroll through the deals in a similar fashion to articles, but tapping on one will take you to the StackSocial website on your browser.
And these aren’t “10% off” kind of deals — they’re steeply discounted deals like a $1,000 course bundle for only $29.
The last of the tabs, Chats, is essentially a list of official MakeUseOf topical discussion groups created by their respective section editors. Our groups are hosted on an app called Grouvi, designed to give you access to live chat with people of similar interests. It’s basically Whatsapp for topic-based chats.
Through Chats, you can spark conversations with all kinds of like-minded people, or even get live tech support. You might also be able to help generate article ideas for MakeUseOf, since our editors tend to hang out in their relevant groups on Grouvi.
And be sure to let us know in the comments what you think of the MakeUseOf Android app. Have any suggestions for how we could make it better? Anything you particularly like about it?
Download: MakeUseOf for Android, free from the Google Play Store.
Download Our App and Win a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!
To show our love for Android, we’re also giving away a brand new 64GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge in the color of your choice. You can enter down below. Best of luck!
Please note that this giveaway will run slightly differently. A new entry method will be introduced every day for the first 5 days. There will be a new way to enter tomorrow, the day after, and so on. To increase your chances of winning, remember to visit this giveaway daily, and claim your new entries.