Approximately six months ago a new online service appeared, whose main mission was to enhance the way you communicate with your Twitter followers. This service is named Medium, and it’s actually designed to serve as a blogging platform, but which brought its own unique ideas and identity. What was important to understand from the very beginning was that Medium isn’t like WordPress or any other blogging platform, but instead it heavily relies on Twitter and simply holds the stories that you publish. One of its strongest sides was its modern and beautiful design, which still is very hard to resist to. Even though this model of functionality has its advantages and limitations, it’s certainly interesting to see new ways of blogging and this specific kind of Twitter integration.
In order to expand its presence, Medium recently launched its own iOS application and we’re about to take a look at it. This app is free to download and use, it’s available only for iPhones, and what’s important to highlight is that this is just a read-only app. Continue reading to learn more details.
From the first moment I launched Medium on my iPhone I was pleasantly surprised by its UI design. It’s nice to see that graphic designers decided to implement modern looks and very sharp aesthetics copied from the official website, which means that this service is still working very hard on creating and maintaining its own visual identity. The first thing you’ll need to do is to sign-in with your Twitter credentials, and this uses iOS’ default Twitter account integration. The first story you’ll be able to read is a very simple introduction which tells you some interesting things about how this app can be used. If you swipe over the screen you’ll get to see other articles which are fetched from your own personalized reading list.
There are numerous small details that I was impressed with while I tested this app. The performance was very smooth and bug-free, and there are some small but effective animations and transitions throughout the app. It was a real pleasure using Medium for iPhone, at least in terms of design and performance.
When it comes to usability of this app, this is where some limitations come up. You’ll be able to read stories written by people you follow on Twitter, and there’s no way to explore other people’s content. I guess that it needs more time until people become aware of this great publishing platform, and until it finally catches on. Still, I was very surprised to see that I am unable to preview content created by other users, which is even stranger if you know that most of these article aren’t personal in any way, even though they can be. Also, there’s no way to filter the content or to search for a specific article.
When it comes to usability I choose to use Medium’s website instead of its iOS app. Even though the app is beautifully designed, it’s limited in functionality which can be really frustrating after a while. I hope that Medium will continue working on the app, since there’s great potential behind it.