Content-discovery service StumbleUpon is fueling new life into a 10-year-old product that was once teetering on the edge of irrelevancy. The most dramatic evidence of such can be seen in the its just-released application for Windows 8.
“Another day, another StumbleUpon app,” you moan.
I hear you. Yes, the Windows 8 application embodies all that’s shiny and new in StumbleUpon’s sexed-up version of its website, and it certainly matches its new iOS application in color and style. But here’s the thing: The Windows 8 app does all these things in a way that’s distinctly delightful and representative of the special characteristics of Microsoft’s PC and tablet-friendly platform.
“The dynamic, visually rich interface and interaction model of the Windows 8 operating system are a natural fit with StumbleUpon, which aims to bring surprise and fun to the experience of finding great stuff on the web,” StumbleUpon vice president of product Cody Simms said in a statement.
Here’s what he means: The StumbleUpon application uses Windows 8 live tiles as an instant way to view dynamically recommended articles, photos, videos, recipes, and so forth from the Start screen of their desktop or tablet.
When inside the application, a grid of bright photo thumbnails acts as the homepage and provides a visual collage of sorts. From here, you can choose a fetching thumbnail as a stumbling off point and start browsing in an uncluttered, full-screen view. Alternatively, you can pan to the right of the homepage to see a hodgepodge of trending stories, friends’ stumbles, and expert curators’ picks.
Something else you won’t find in any of StumbleUpon’s other reimagined applications is a feature called “Snap View.” The option, a multitasking characteristic of the Windows 8 software, allows you to stumble while using other applications. In this mode, you can snap StumbleUpon to a quarter of the screen, so that content recommendations flow into the column as you perform activities inside other apps.
StumbleUpon for Windows 8 is the startup’s first application for Windows. The app originally started as a hackathon-style project, but it was so impressed by the machination that the app was fast-tracked through to full production status and developed in just two months.