Amidst our endless Twitter feeds, Facebook timelines and RSS feeds, the potential to consume news links and stories has never been more vast. It's actually overwhelming.
I find my news consumption takes place in two different forms: the iPhone and the iPad. Much like Marco Arment's current discussion on long-form writing, I find two different spheres of reading and consuming news. On my iPhone, I gather links, skim short articles and save anything for longer reading in Instapaper. From there, I actually consume my saved articles on my iPad. My scroll speed through my Twitter feed is far faster on an iPhone than it is on an iPad. And I skip more of my RSS articles on my iPhone than on my iPad. They represent two different spheres of consumption and, luckily for me, they work hand in hand.
Few of my favourite news feed apps are dedicated to one device. Reeder, Tweetbot and Instapaper all have both versions available and I use all three differently depending on the device.
But the app that rounds out my link-gathering is iPhone-only. Its purpose is replicated by other link gathering applications like Zite or Flipboard, which are both optimized for both devices. It may not be the most widely used link gathering app, but I believe it's the most well designed. And it's iPhone-only nature makes it extremely useful for my "skimming sphere".
Interesting for iPhone, designed by Mike Rundle, burst onto my scene after iOS 7 was released. Interesting has come to be known for the design of its sidebar, but the service it provides extends far beyond a few well designed pixels.
From my use, I believe Interesting was designed for skimmers. Links are gathered by algorithms beyond the control of the user, meaning someone else controls your consumption.
This is important for me.
Twitter and RSS reflect my choices. I can follow who I want and subscribe to the sites I deem enjoyable or appropriate. Interesting discards that. Interesting finds the stuff that my highly customizable Twitter and RSS feeds can't. And I really like that. If I can't find anything interesting to read, I open Interesting. Within moments, it stands by its name.
Now the meat and potatoes. Despite my undying love for my iPad, I doubt I would really like Interesting on an iPad. Saying that feels weird, as I have always felt every app should be optimized for both devices. But for now, I don't see a use for Interesting on my iPad. It's one of my most used apps on my iPhone, but would be disregarded entirely on my iPad in its current form. I believe my skimming and consuming model would force a theoretical Interesting for iPad to be used entirely different than the iPhone version. Interesting for iPhone and Interesting for iPad, in my workflow, would be set at two different points on the spectrum.
I've highlighted a few of my favourite apps recently that are expecting big updates and new features. Day One's upcoming Publish feature will change the private digital journal forever, no matter the platform, and Launch Center Pro for iPad will have a significant impact on the productivity capabilities of the iPad.
But Interesting for iPad doesn't need to exist for me. I feel it handles the quick and easy better than most link gathering apps. My iPad, no matter how hard I try, is not my ideal platform for anything quick and easy. I will never discourage someone from making an iPad version of an app — I just don't want someone to merely replicate an iPhone app for the bigger screen. Their essential purposes need to be different — because the iPhone and the iPad are different.