When it comes to community news-sharing site Reddit, I have what many might classify as an unhealthy addiction.
Thanks to my smartphone, browsing Reddit has caused me to lose valuable information and context during conversations with loved ones, ruined the story for about half the sci-fi TV show episodes available on Hulu and Netflix, and left me rushing to get things done at the eleventh hour on many occasions.
And since I’m far from the only Reddit addict out there, naturally someone thought to make the site accessible through Google Glass via the newly launched Monocle app. Yet Monocle might actually help with the whole “addict” thing, since when you’re unable to browse the site at all during busy work day, it will feed you only a small portion of Reddit content throughout the day.
As you can see from the screenshot above, Monocle will display submissions from your custom Reddit feed. However, you only see the top link from each subreddit (aka category) you subscribe to. It works out so that you get new Reddit submissions about once an hour instead of being sucked into Reddit for an entire hour.
“I love Reddit, and have been an active user for years,” Monocle creator Ian Jennings told VentureBeat in an interview. (Fittingly, the app was even named after the popular “feel like a sir” Reddit meme.) After trying and failing to check out a similar Glass app that was quickly yanked offline, Jennings explained that he decided Reddit needed a presence in the Glassware store.
“Lots of people have pointed out how a Reddit Glass app would let them procrastinate even more, but I wanted to do something different for anyone who felt like they were missing out on browsing the most popular stuff,” he said.
The submissions you see on Monocle display the headline, a thumbnail, and note telling you when the post was added to Reddit. You can also up- or down-vote those Reddit submissions and even navigate to wherever the submission link points to via Glass’ web browser. That’s all it can do for now, but Jennings hopes to add more functionality in future updates.
“At some point I’d like to add the ability for users to submit [a new link or text-based “self” post] directly from the Glassware, maybe to a specific subreddit just for Monocle,” Jennings said, adding that he has yet to explore the logistics of how that might work. “I’d also like to let people see comments, or maybe even see when someone responds to a comment [they] made.”
Eventually, Monocle might even get updated to take full advantage of wearable technology, he said. That would take Monocle to a whole new level — one that may position it more as an app for those who want to contribute submissions rather than just consume them. For instance, it could let you use Glass to translate spoken words into text for a submission and to automatically upload videos to YouTube or photos to Imgur using Glass’ camera. (But those hoping for a super early-stage version of the stereoscopic smartglasses worn by gonzo-journalist Spider Jerusalem from the Transmetropolitan graphic novel series could be waiting a while, as this is just a side project for now, Jennings said.)
Those who own Glass can download the Monocle app later today. Jennings will be participating in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session at 10 a.m. PST.