Xeno Hemlock

App Reviews

Hello, Medium! Finally, You Have an App.

Types: Social Network, News, Reading

The minimalist editor was Medium's first draw to me. Unlike WordPress, Blogspot, and Glipho that I was using, it was very simple yet effective. Something about the vast white space and the big font was attractive to me. I signed up.

I didn't understand Medium at first despite being drawn to it. In my first post stupidly titled “Hello, Medium” where I only wrote “Finally, I'm on Medium!” (Hey, I was so excited. I acted foolish), somebody left a note. “Medium is about content. It's not about you,” it said. It was a digital bitchslap from an online stranger to me. In case you would browse my Medium posts, you wouldn't find it there anymore. I deleted it.

It wasn't just the minimalist editor that made me appreciate Medium. The users and their posts were two more reasons to get addicted to it. There was a lot of interesting stuff to consume. Medium became part of my daily routine. I would check the posts recommended to me, and every week or two I would write my own. When Medium was released in the app store, I thought that finally I could write and post using my smartphone.

I could not.

The Medium app is only for reading posts. You sign in with your Medium content and get your recommendations like you would on a desktop. You can recommend, share, or favorite a post. You can also follow users and collections. But you could not write and post. Is that a bad thing? No.

Browsing and reading articles with the Medium app is more intimate than doing it with a desktop. The act of physically holding the phone near to you and swiping left or right to browse posts is more satisfying. It feels like you're reading a book. It's lighter than a book and a tablet. Your mind is given rein to just focus on consuming without putting a strain on your hand or lap after a while.

The controls in Medium are easy. Swipe left and right to go from one article to another. Double tap to follow someone or favorite a post. Swipe left and right again to see everything the user had written. Swipe and left right again to jump from collections to post, and from post back to the collection.

If you have no inclination to write but you like reading, I suggest you still sign up for Medium. All you need is a Twitter account. With Medium in your pocket, you have a free magazine. It comes with the quirks, rants, social commentaries, news, tips and how-to's, and valuable information - all for free.

Pros: Easy to use. Content is great.

Cons: Can't write or post articles.

Summary: Medium is a valuable app with lots of great content. It's the expanded version of Twitter (Ev Williams co-created Twitter and created Medium). If you're tired of the 140 tweets and want to read longer thoughts, Medium is the right fit for you.