I mentioned StumbleUpon (free @ App Store, free @ Google Play) in our recent feature Top 7 TV/movie/entertainment apps for iPhone, iPad and Android, where it appeared alongside the likes of Netflix and 4oD.
Here I’m making good on my promise to go into a little more detail, essentially concurring with the 200,000+ iOS and Android users who’ve rated StumbleUpon rather freakin' highly.
Question: What is StumbleUpon? Well, it’s a content aggregator type thing, serving up features and countdowns and photos and memes and all sorts of (usually) interesting junk from third parties across the cyber-web – some well known, some more obscure.
As a new user, StumbleUpon invites you to define your interests from a number of categories, including Music, Gaming, Cooking, Cell Phones and Sports. Drilling deeper, each category has a number of specific interests, such as Sports > American Football or Hobbies > Car Parts.
With your interests defined, you simply sit back and let StumbleUpon deliver content to your specific tastes. For example, this morning I – wait for it – stumbled upon “18 Best Movies on Netflix You Haven’t Seen”, “Ash Ketchum from Pokemon is Insanely Strong”, and “Spongebob footage overdubbed with Pulp Fiction dialogue is significantly greater than the sum of its parts”. Brilliant.
Further functionality includes the ability to Share and Save articles, give a thumbs up or thumbs down, and filter content by category (maybe you’re in the mood for Action Movie stuff exclusively, or articles related to Writing).
Ok, StumbleUpon Cons first of all. Some users might struggle with the randomness of it all, and wonder why they shouldn’t just browse the web manually. Similarly, defining a multitude of interests yields what amounts to a mini-internet.
Some of the StumbleUpon articles are several years old, too. Are all “55 Beers That Will Knock You Flat On Your Ass” (2009) still manufactured?
Even less forgivable, I stumbled upon (there’s that phrase again) a couple of articles that simply wouldn’t load properly. I was pretty hyped to see “6 amazing Batman villain mug shot illustrations”, but unfortunately it’s a no go on my iPhone.
On the plus side, I found myself liking StumbleUpon the more I used it, realising that the likelihood of – you guessed it – stumbling upon these articles myself was pretty low. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how do you find it?
The navigation is pretty slick, too, and there’s no shortage of StumbleUpon categories. Even something seemingly straight forward like Commerce has 31 subcategories, from Accounting to Financial Planning to Toys.
On the whole, yep, StumbleUpon is definitely worth a look, and heck, it’s free!
- Loads of content and categories
- You’d never stumble across all this stuff without the app
- Fairly slick navigation
- Loads of categories = mini-internet
- Some articles are several years old
- Occasionally buggy
Summary: StumbleUpon is a great way to discover web-based content that you mightn’t otherwise see. Which just so happens to be the entire point. Huzzah!
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.