Stumbleupon is something most everyone has either used or heard about it. If you haven’t, well read on and learn.
I have used this for years initially in the Firefox browser, but now in Chrome. It is also available as an extension or app for Chrome, iPhone and Android. IE, Opera and Safari users can access it within the browser just by going to the website. Stumbleupon is a discovery engine for the web. You can stumble without signing up, however if you sign up you will be able to choose your interests so that only things you might be interested in show up when you “stumble” (hit random site). You can also choose to search within only one interest if you wish, or only videos for example. Liking places you stumbleupon helps tailor the hits to you and you can also share sites you like with stumbleupon for others to visit. Ok enough background, now the app.
Above is what you get when you first open the app. You do have to sign in to get the best from the app, and based on my interests this is what showed for me on the day this shot was taken. Now one slight problem is that you cannot stumble without right-clicking. It isn’t entirely Stumbleupon’s fault because it is the rules of the Metro style. I find it a bit annoying to have to right-click to get functionality I can get within the browser by clicking a button. When you right-click, besides “stumble” you also get the option to select specific interests only. This option is available within the HOME link with the drop-down arrow but limited to “Your likes”, “Stumble” and “Home” (if not on the home screen already).
When you “stumble”, the bars above and below stay there, which does provide relief from having to right-click once again. However, if you click inside the window to view the page more fully, the bars drop away. You can see above you have options to either like the page or give it a thumbs down. This will affect what pages you get. Also the “About” button tells you how many hits this page has had through Stumbleupon, what interest caused this to be displayed and the main website this stumble came from.
It stumbles very quickly, although it is limited to sights without Flash since it does not have the same integration afforded to Metro IE when it comes to flash. This is a minor issue for me, but can be trouble if you enjoy Flash sites a lot.
The live tile is nicely done. Mine rotates 4 different stories, though not sure what triggers a story to show up in it. The great thing about the tile as you’ll see below is you easily read the title of the stumble and see the Stumbleupon icon. This is something that Microsoft’s own apps falter at doing properly.
This app works wonderfully and is well thought out, considering the limitations of the Metro style. You can use search to stumble instead, type in a word and it finds something in your interests to match. You can easily share within it to whatever apps allow sharing, specifically Facebook and Mail, but other apps including Stumbleupon itself (not sure how you can share with yourself, isn’t that selfish?). I don’t particularly find it better to use over a browser on the desktop (though sharing is easier in Metro), but it certainly would be a nice solution for a tablet.