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App Review: Prismatic

First of all, this is a dual review – the Prismatic web and iOS apps. Secondly, I’d like to start by saying that both apps are awesome! You can pretty much stop here if you want to and go download Prismatic for iOS or go to¬†http://getprismatic.com/ to sign up.

What makes me talk about Prismatic with so much confidence and what the heck is it?

Prismatic is a news reader app. It’s in the line with Google Reader, Flipboard, Pulse and a hundred others. But what makes the iOS app so amazing is that it’s optimized for speed. The company took a lot of time (literally) to build an iOS app that matches the awesomeness of it’s web app. They built everything from scratch so much so that even Apple sent them a letter saying that it’s Engineers are looking into how an app can be designed so well.

I am definitely keeping the app on my iPhone and also as a favorite web page. But I’ve got a beef with the app makers.

1. Why concentrate on only things you find in my social networks? When we first sign up, we have the option of connecting our social networks so that the app can monitor our likes and allow us to choose which ones it’ll be displaying to us. But this is not adequate. I read a lot of news and I hate it when my apps display duplicate news items. This app, in all it’s glory, still duplicates most of the news I read because it just finds my preferences through my social networks. Instead, I’d prefer if the app extrapolated from those preferences and worked to get related news to me.

2. The web app and the iOS one both have a serious deficiency of “read later” or bookmarking services. Given that most news articles of value are longer than a couple of lines and it takes the average reader a lot longer to read it, a read later service is a must for news apps.

I hope the team at Prismatic understands the above problems and fixes them. It’s a great app and I’d love to continue using it. BTW, if you’ve read about this app elsewhere, you’ve read people calling it a Google Reader killer. Is it? No, it’s not.