Director's pick - A news app with a difference

Director's pick - A news app with a difference

Our Creative Director, Paul Bird, is giving us his review of a news app with a difference.

Paul Bird
0 min read
August 13, 2018

With the ever-growing list of mobile apps available from various app stores, every now and then we like to publish some app reviews. This way, we can spread the word about any apps the team are getting excited about, and generally what’s hot and what’s not in the app world.

With any luck, the reviews will give you some ideas to diversify your app downloads, so you experience something a bit different. On that note, an app I’ve been using a lot lately is Quartz. What is it and why do I rate it? Read on.

Quartz | iOS: £free | Android: £free with ads

Quartz. Snappy name, but what it’s all about?

Admittedly the name doesn’t give much away, but it’s nothing to do with minerals. For the record, the Quartz app gives you short daily news snippets of the entire global economy - from politics to pop - direct to your phone or tablet in a series of short text messages. As the Quartz strapline reads, 'it’s news in a whole new way.'

The app delivers an ongoing conversation about the news, of which you can choose to find out more, or not, depending on what you want to know. The content comes through as messages, GIFs, emojis, images, and links, and the way it’s presented makes it look like any text message thread you’re already used to seeing, grabbing your attention and making the content a whole lot more engaging. And by tapping on any of them, you jump straight to the full story.

Why do I like this news app so much?

Well, like dozens of other news apps out there, it keeps me updated on global news stories, but it condenses the information into bite size chunks which are easily readable. That means I can easily skim over and filter out anything I don’t want to know about.

But Quartz makes the whole ‘reading the news’ thing much more interesting through its interaction. The way it comes through is like you have a contact who’s first on the scene and they’ve chosen you to break the story too.

So what makes Quartz so unique?

Apart from the way the news is delivered as messages, which seems like the most natural thing in the world these days, it’s the use of the Quartz chatbots. These little critters are being used more and more in apps and online to deliver another level of customer service. But the Quartz tone and style of delivery makes the user feel comfortable receiving information from something that has a likeable personality.

But (now here’s a spoiler alert for you) though the content is delivered by bots, there’s a crack team of human journos behind the scenes writing the snappy content that you fall in love with. All the content has a fun and entertaining feel to it, but Quartz aren’t above a bit of tongue-in-cheek pithy sarcasm either.

And nowhere is this displayed better than in the Settings of all places, where you’ll find a snooze button if you want to take a 24-hour breather. Not a snooze from all the news, but a Trump Snooze no less, blocking news and notifications from the current US President - unless it’s something big.

To read another of our Director's Pick post, click here for Becky's review of an app that could be a gamer changer!

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