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This article was published on February 11, 2016

Quartz’s iOS app turns news into a conversation and it feels like the future

Quartz’s iOS app turns news into a conversation and it feels like the future
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Quartz has released its own native news app for iOS today, and it’s an impressive, original take on the news.

Instead of formatting the app like… well, a news app, the company has turned it into what you might expect from a text message conversation.

You’re sent the news in a friendly iMessage-like format, and then you can respond with what you think, if you want more on that topic or just move on to the next piece of news.

There’s no other interface to the app, so you can’t just browse the news like you would in BuzzFeed’s app — it comes to you in an ongoing conversation-like flow.

You can get push notifications from the app on big news topics, then when you jump back in they’ll be sent to you like it’s a conversation with an actual human. 

I’ve only been playing with the app for a little while, but Quartz’s app feels like the future. It tells you what you need to know in a human voice, with fun along the way; there’s GIFs, charts and emoji galore.

It’ll be interesting to see if this conversational format will stick once the wow factor wears off. A number of news outlets already send their news using messaging apps like WhatsApp, so this is an interesting mashup of the two.

Quartz App [iOS]

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