Online news has become more and more relevant in the recent years. With it being so popular, online news has become a bit stale. I’ve got an app that takes a refreshing new approach to getting news online. Instead of another app to give you a “feed” of news articles, Quartz uses the format of a chat bot to deliver news.
The functionality and UI of Quartz is great. It’s simplistic and clean. The app works by giving you 2 possible responses to things: the “action” button (always on the left) or the “skip” button (always on the right). The “action” button will contain a piece of playful text to imply that you’d like to know more, where the “skip” button contains straightforward things such as “next” or “anything else?”
Quartz does a great job at delivering a wide variety of content. I’ve always enjoyed the stories they give me, and my biggest gripe (and the reason this category lost 1 star) is the pure fact that there is no personalization whatsoever. You’re never asked about topics that you like, and Quartz just throws you whatever it throws you. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good in that apps that ask for your preferences (i.e. Flipboard) tend to go “overboard” and totally ice other stories out that you may be interested in. It’s bad in that you may get some or many stories that you have absolutely no interested in.
Quartz is really a “one-screen” app, meaning it doesn’t have any additional features. It has a small settings area to enable or disable notifications, and that’s it. While I admire it’s simplicity, there are a few things on my wishlist:
Firstly, the ability to change your mind on a particular story. For example, if I hit “next” on a story, the chance to know more is gone. Sure, you can go to the article it links, but then that’s a standard article and it’s not in the chat bot format. When users “hold down” on a chat bubble for that story, they should have the option to press the “action” button after the fact.
Second, I wish Quartz would offer chat bots in other apps. While it’s app is very clean and simple, I think some users would enjoy being able to use their favorite chat app natively. Several apps, such as Facebook’s Messenger, Google’s Allo, and Kik, support chat bots. With the ability to use Quartz within other already popular chat apps, the platform may take off and gain more steam.
It’s hard for “new” apps to hold a permanent spot on my phone, as most “new” apps offer nothing unique. The story is different with Quartz. I fell in love with the app as soon as I installed it, and I’ve been actively using it on a daily basis ever since. If you’re tired of the stale and old way you’ve been getting your news, give Quartz a try!