Does anyone remember Rockmelt’s Android application? It was easily one of my favorite apps of 2013. You see, Rockmelt was great at bringing you random-yet-precise topics of your choosing without asking you to do much work. For me, I used it to unplug from the world of tech and find current off-the-wall stories on sports, celeb gossip, food, travel, and lifestyle when I was lounging on my couch in the evenings.Unfortunately for me, the app only lasted all of two short months thanks to an acquisition by Yahoo. Since Yahoo shut it down, I have been hunting for an app that can bring me a similar reading experience without much fuss. I think I may have found it in Facebook’s Paper, except they forgot to release it on my platform of choice.
Paper was released this morning to iOS, so like the good little tech blogger that I am, figured I’d install it on an iOS device, give it a whirl, and report back since it could some day arrive on Android. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. And so you know, that’s coming from someone who spends maybe three minutes a month on Facebook. In other words, I don’t use Facebook.
But with Paper, it’s not about Facebook, though it could be if you want it to be. It’s more about consuming stories, media, and enjoying a beautifully designed app. Paper comes off like a mash-up between Home (another FB app), Flipboard, Google Currents, and one of those insanely overpriced $16 third party Android launchers. The whole experience is touch and motion based, so you can grab stories to see them up close and personal, rotate your hand back and forth to view big images in a 3D-like atmosphere, and then share it all like you might want to through Facebook.
There are all sorts of categories to bring you news or current topics from a variety of subjects that include sports, photography, food, traveling, and home design. Each section is accessed via swipe, stories can be blown up with a flick of your thumb, and interesting finds can be shared immediately or saved for later. In terms of consuming content, Paper seems like it is off to a great start. Maybe some day it will see a similar start on Android.
To see it in action, check out the video below.