News/content reading mobile apps are hotshots of the season. While we have the quite popular international ones like Flipboard, Pulse, Feedly, among others, Indian startups have also ventured in to the space and tried their luck. We did cover a bunch of Indian news reading apps recently but when I read the story of a new news reading mobile app Plash being compared to Flipboard with a local twist by NBW then there was no reason to ignore it.
Plash, the news and content curation mobile app is from Bangalore based Plash Digital Labs. With a Windows app soon to be launched and an iOS app to be planned by early next year in the market, I gave the Android app launched on the 13th of this month, a spin.
Content curation and consumption
The app provides a social login and an email login; with Facebook login available I opted for it. The authentication process was smooth but the app has hardcoded the setting that as a user one needs to permit the app to automatically post content on their friend’s wall. Not an appealing feature as I prefer publishing control in my hands rather than the app.
Once you are in the app, you are asked to select your interest categories. So the curation of the content is dependent on your consumption interests.However, the interesting bit here is regional content, apart from generic categories. Like I was craving for some Hindi content and I could do so since it had a similar category. Likewise there are categories such as Telugu, Kannada, etc. You can always sort the categories once you are in the app by tapping on the button at left corner on your screen.
The appealing home screen pulls up the categories that you have opted before. Besides your selected categories, the app also lists Trending and What’s New stories. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the home screen:
Tap on any category, you get the list of the stories that you can read with a swipe of your finger. Before you read any story, the app provides features like how many times the article has been viewed and liked by readers.While you read the story, you do have the option to like, bookmark for later read and share it on social networks.
Additionally, you choose new categories by tapping on the extreme left corner button. The feature also provides a search feature, check all the activities made on the app such as articles shared, liked and favorited. The screen grab below gives you a quick look how the content is displayed. The app also provides the feature of syncing individual social profiles too so that content from the app is shared with ease.
How good is Plash in the crowded market of news reading apps?
Plash is the mobile app that you would want to have on your mobile for the pure delight of the design and user experience. The app has no glitches except giving no choice to the Facebook user other than to share all read posts with their friends. Adding the regional content also helps build the app and gives it a different flavour. While it is curating content from different publishers, the startup is also posting its own content.
For now the app does its job and since I love reading Hindi content, it will motivate me to log into the app. Otherwise it is in a pretty crowded market and it would be interesting to understand how the app builders want to take it further.
Early days for the app but it definitely scores on the way it has been designed and served to users for consuming content depending on their interests.