Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Quora Crams Full Web Site Into New iPhone App

The Q&A site Quora today launches its first mobile version, a slick iOS app that offers the full functionality and content of its Web site, along with some mobile-specific features, like a filter for nearby topics, push notifications for new answers to users’ recently asked questions, and more prominent search with brisk autosuggest.

Mobile apps often don’t deliver the full experience of social and user-generated Web sites, given how much content they need to deliver, the constraints of the small screen and the different expectations for mobile participation. For instance, the Wikipedia iPhone app is read-only; Yelp doesn’t allow users to write full reviews from its apps; and Facebook doesn’t fully support some more complicated features, like photo tagging, from mobile devices.

Development of the Quora iPhone app was focused on delivering speed and supporting content consumption, and on inspiring lots more local questions and answers, said Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever in an interview this week. (See the map view with local questions pictured below.)

The normally quiet Quora considers the iPhone app its biggest new launch since its Web site, which went live to the public about a year ago and has been incrementally improved since.

Quora execs wouldn’t share anything terrifically informative about their progress, like traffic or user numbers, but noted that on the topic of local content, their largest userbase by location is now New York City. That’s important because Quora is often dinged for its Silicon Valley-centricity, a criticism people at the company said is becoming less valid.

Cheever said that he expects Quora’s next mobile effort will be an Android app.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus