Have you ever been followed on Quora?
Quora for Android Does the app do the service justice?
Quora has made a name for itself: the (still) privately owned Q&A website hosts some high profile users. 10 Internet Companies That Are Active on Quora 10 Internet Companies That Are Active on Quora Quora is an easily realizable requirement. It is an online knowledge store where users can ask or answer questions. And it's populated by a mix of ordinary, everyday people like you and me ... Read on and has an Online Now feature that gives you instant answers. We've been following Quora for years. You can read our introduction to the service from 2010 and marvel at the site's old design, as preserved in the screenshots of this post. Much has changed since then, and the unstoppable shift towards mobile devices has continued strongly. With its tech-savvy foundations, it makes sense for Quora to have an official mobile app - and in fact, the Quora app is the service's official ambassador in Android land. I put the app through its paces and while it did the job it would be hard to tell that it blew me away.
When you start Quora for the first time, you will be asked to sign in immediately. This is consistent with the behavior of the service on the web: you cannot play if you are not logged in. I already had an account so I logged in and was greeted by a screen asking me to follow a few topics. The service was trying to guess what kind of things I was doing and they did a pretty good job (aside from that bit of exercise).
If you're following a bunch of topics, it's time to start researching interesting questions or blog elements (yes, Quora lets you post blog elements, not just questions).
The app uses holo-style tabs to divide the screen into Home, Notifs, Browse, and Profile sections. To find interesting information, take a look at the Home and Browse tabs:
As you can see, the format of the Home tab is clean and neat. Question titles appear on you, and the counter with the positive rating is also visible with its colored background. With no graphics or flashy animations, the scrolling on my phone was quick and responsive. On my 5 "1080p device, the app jams in one quantity Text on a screen. This can change per device and depends on the DPI setting of your ROM: Your device may display larger fonts and less information on the screen.
Note the pronounced lack of bells and whistles. The app delivers Quora, but absolutely no frills. Just text with the odd image here and there.
Read responses and blog posts
When you find something that looks interesting, tap it to drill. It can either be an answer or a blog post:
This part of the Quora app feels decidedly Reddit-like - if you check out our review of Reddionic you will see what I mean. You can browse the current question and quickly browse other content from the same user. You could spend a fair amount of time jumping directly from question to question without ever going through the browsing screen.
Customize and optimize the app
The Settings screen has three sub-categories: Push Notifications, Location, and Network. You get very fine-grained controls over exactly when the app should interrupt you with notifications. Unfortunately, all notification types are enabled by default:
Noticeably any kind of night mode or a darker theme is missing. The app uses a white background which is suitable for daytime reading but can be very distracting at night. That's a shame because night time is the best time to read apps. Apps like Pocket know this and offer a selection of darker themes that are easy to use at night.
A thoroughly useful utility
Quora for Android works. It's responsive and fast, and you can use pretty much all of the service's features, including posting new questions, answering existing questions, and voting on content. It has no ads or other nuisance and for the most part stays out of the way while you focus on what you really came for (Quora's content, not the app). However, it also feels completely uninspired - an app that was developed because Quora couldn't afford to ignore the burgeoning Android ecosystem, and not because it was really a passion for creating an Android app. If and when it adds a night mode it would really be complete - but that doesn't necessarily make it amazing.
Do you know of a better Android app for Quora? What do you think about it - would you use it or do you just want to use the website? Let me know in the comments.
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