Upnext is a read-later app. No, it’s a bookmarking app. No, it’s a content-curation-social-network factor. Even Jeroen Seghers, one of many service’s co-founders, struggles to elucidate it. “Long run,” he says, “I like to consider what we’re constructing as a data browser.” However even he admits that doesn’t imply a lot to anybody proper now. Ultimately, Upnext settled on “A reader with superpowers,” which is shut sufficient.

No matter you name it, right here’s what Upnext is: it’s a spot to avoid wasting and work together with content material from everywhere in the web. It handles articles and weblog posts like Pocket or Instapaper but additionally serves as a dumping floor for all these YouTube movies you need to watch later, the podcast episodes you’ll finally hearken to, the tweet threads you don’t have time to scroll by way of but, all these PDFs cluttering your desktop, and extra.

My favourite factor in regards to the app is that slightly than simply storing all that stuff in a reverse-chronological listing, it acts as a form of Google TV interface for internet content material, a device that takes all of your hyperlinks and tries to present you again the best factor on the proper time. Upnext’s dwelling display screen exhibits you a couple of classes, a set of curated Every day Picks from the stuff you’ve saved, after which a couple of of the belongings you’ve added most not too long ago. There’s additionally a Evaluation web page that asks you to Tinder-swipe your manner by way of your listing to maintain it clear — swipe proper to maintain it, swipe left to archive.

The app has been in beta for greater than a 12 months, and I’ve been testing it on and off for many of that point. Now it’s launching publicly on iPhone, iPad, and the net — Android’s coming finally, Seghers says, however not anytime quickly. The app prices $10 a month or $69 a 12 months, which is significantly steep for this type of app (Pocket and Instapaper each have excellent free tiers), however Seghers thinks Upnext can construct one thing definitely worth the worth for the web’s content material superconsumers. He didn’t rule out finally providing a less expensive or free model, both, however mentioned that beginning costly “will give us a transparent sign on what probably the most demanding customers need.”

Upnext works on iPhone and iPad, however no Android for now.
Picture: Upnext / David Pierce

I’ve largely used it as an easy substitute for Pocket (or Matter, one other new read-later app I’ve been having fun with) as a easy studying device. It does a great job ingesting most textual content articles, with pictures and different media as properly, and makes it fairly straightforward to focus on textual content and take notes. If you happen to take notes on a video or podcast, it robotically timestamps them, in order that they’re straightforward to seek out later. (Upnext doesn’t but have a straightforward solution to sync all of your notes to your favourite note-taking app until you additionally pay for Readwise, however I’m informed that’s coming quickly.) The app doesn’t have as many customization choices as another apps — I’d love a solution to make the margins a bit of wider on the iPad, specifically, with Seghers says is coming — however remains to be a reasonably good studying expertise.

Finally, although, Upnext’s plan is to do much more together with your content material than give it a nicer font. Once you save one thing within the app by way of the Upnext browser extension or the iOS share sheet, Upnext tries to determine what it’s and robotically categorizes it for you. It really works, ish? Upnext is excellent at understanding the distinction between a protracted learn and a brief article and all the time places YouTube hyperlinks in the best place. However for those who save an article with an embedded video on the prime, it’s going to suppose you wished the article. If you happen to discover a podcast episode on its webpage slightly than in a podcast participant, it’s going to reserve it as a Brief Learn and never a Lengthy Hear.

You possibly can’t manually categorize your content material, both, which is annoying. (I’ve a variety of podcasts nonetheless in my Brief Reads folder.) As a substitute, Upnext needs you to make playlists of content material. I like this function, personally: I now hold a working listing of podcast episodes, articles, and movies on topics I’m attempting to study extra about and might dive into them at any time when I’ve time. (On this sense, Upnext is sort of like a supercharged bookmarking service.) You too can share playlists with others, together with your individual notes on numerous content material, and Seghers says Upnext has long-term goals of bringing a lot of social options to the app.

Three screenshots of the Upnext app showing various types of content.

Upnext tries to deal with threads, podcasts, articles, movies, and far more. It’s a difficult factor to get proper.
Picture: Upnext

Larger on the precedence listing: getting higher at understanding the content material folks put into Upnext. The app already saves your progress on all types of content material, so you possibly can choose something up the place you left off. However Seghers says the workforce is spending a variety of time on enhancing the automated categorization system, which might additionally assist Upnext advocate content material to customers. “You possibly can inform us, like, ‘I need to learn, I need to pay attention, or need to watch,’” he says. “Then, if you may also inform us, ‘That is the subject I truly need to make some progress on,’ or ‘Right here’s what I’m simply form of within the temper for,’ as a result of our morning vs. night and weekday vs. weekend, it’s all very completely different.” He’s additionally excited to show Upnext into a strong search engine for all of the stuff you save however acknowledges that’s arduous work, too.

The dream for an app like this, actually, is that you just simply spend your days dumping stuff you’re considering, and the app well spits it again to you at precisely the best second. It’s not a chore or an inbox, extra like your curated model of the web. Upnext isn’t that, however that’s fairly near what Seghers says he’s attempting to construct. “You possibly can simply throw any hyperlink at it,” he says, “and it’s a repeatedly studying factor.”

Apps like Upnext — and Pocket, Instapaper, Matter, and the remaining — have all the time been for a selected form of heavy content material shopper. I’m very a lot that form of shopper and have actually loved utilizing Upnext up to now. It’s not an ideal system, and it’s in all probability not but value $10 a month for most individuals, however I’ve spent years on the lookout for a great “I’ll get to this later” app, and Upnext is surprisingly near getting it proper.

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