Turning inner space into outer space

March 30, 2014

Random is a great way to explore good reading

There are two ways to go when it comes to the news — a laser focus on on topic or random discovery.

Apps like Zite, Prismatic and Flipboard do a good job of discovery, using algorithms to bring you stories the software has learned that you find interesting. But now there’s an app called Random that takes this concept a step further.

After firing it up, you’re presented with half a dozen coloured tiles representing a variety of topics. Chances are one of them will tweak your curiosity. Tap it and discover the article, which is guaranteed to be worth reading — it’s not totally random, after all.

If you don’t like any of the topics, tap the white tile in the middle and get a different selection. As you start exploring the subjects, Random gets an idea of what you like and presents you with these subjects more often. Fortunately, though, the app doesn’t get carried away — you can still find yourself looking at topics that might never have occurred to you.

As an example, I went on a bit of a tear with articles about science fiction. As long as I chose this topic, Random was happy to give me more. But today, we’re on a clean slate with submarines and Bill Murray on tap.

Overall, Random is a beautifully designed app with a seemingly endless supply of good reading. But keep one eye on the clock. You might find you’ve spent more random time than you expected.