A stylish iPad app launches, but does the Internet care? It might if the crew behind the Futureful app have their way. Futureful is like StumbleUpon's fancier, quirkier cousin, and if the Internets like anything new, it is surely a new way to find awesome Internets.
Surfing with Futureful
Finding great new stuff online is one of life's sweet treasures (in Internet life, anyway), so when an app like Futureful comes along, it will definitely get attention. Along those same lines, when someone like Skype co-founder Janus Friis heads up development of such a thing, people tend to perk up.
Futureful is a personalized content discovery app, and it learns what people like as they surf around to the things they are interested in. It's not a browser, it's not a social network, and it's not a personalized news reader. It's supposed to be a new way to discover content, and it's meant to be more fluid and less defined than any other system, the company's blog notes.
The app has been in development for the last three years. Friis got involved at the beginning of 2012, the blog notes, and he remains the company's only investor. That's quite a long time in development, even without a benefactor, but if it can be even slightly better than StumbleUpon, it should takeoff.
The app's tagline is 'a simple and playful experience of personal relevancy and expanding curiosity.'
Find pages by applying tags and favoriting saved pages to help others find them. This is helped along by the app's machine learning and semantic search underpinnings, and to keep things interesting, it tries not to show the same pages more than once.
Craft Futurful's discovery model to get more relevant, but still surprising (hopefully) content.
It's not the same as a search engine, that much is clear. There's not even any URL's to be found on the displayed pages. (Be sure to make use of the fave button!) For now, the team is content to be iPad only, but the company blog notes it will expand to all mobile devices. It's a free app on iTunes, and it works on iOS 5.0 and above only.