StumbleUpon, the venerable service for finding cool Web sites that has always emphasized serendipity over structure, is unveiling a major makeover tonight. The basic idea remains the same: You can find interesting sites, one after another, by pressing a Stumble button (and can recommend sites you like so other folks stumble upon them). But the StumbleUpon site and Web-based toolbar (now called the StumbleBar) have a new logo and a fresh coat of paint, and some new features make it easier to use StumbleUpon to wander around the Web in a slightly more organized fashion.
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StumbleUpon has always been one of my favorite iPad apps, an endless time-waster that with the press of a button sends you to seemingly random corners of the Internet. Now, it’s received a facelift.
The new app includes sorting options for photos, videos and news, along with a category view that makes it easier to find pages based on your topics of interest. StumbleUpon’s iPad app has also gained a couple of swipe-based gestures, allowing you to move forward and backward by dragging a finger across the screen.
So far, so good. But there’s one feature I could do without, and would like the option to disable: Every time you stumble to a new page, a message on top of the screen lists the username of a stranger who liked what he or she saw. Tapping the name takes you to that user’s profile, which lists age, gender and recent activity, and provides options for following that user.
Happy Friday the thirteenth, everybody!
StumbleUpon, the addictive way to channel-surf your way across the Web by visiting seemingly random sites that other folks like, is about to get more addictive. Until now, it’s required a toolbar that let you surf sites and review and recommend ’em (or give them a thumbs-down). But it’s announcing a new version that requires no toolbar and which lets you browse around sites at StumbeUpon.com in much the way you might explore a site like YouTube.
When you begin your Web wanderings at StumbleUpon’s site, the Web pages you visit will be framed with a purely Web-based equivalent of the StumbleUpon tools up top; unlike the Toolbar, these tools are only there when you’re Stumbling around the Web. I’m a StumbleUpon Toolbar user right now, but I like the idea of going Web-only; I’ve got too many toolbars as it is, and getting rid of the SU Toolbar will free up a few precious vertical pixels of screen real estate, and generally declutter my browser a bit.
In addition, StumbleUpon is going to work with major sites to add StumbleUpon features to their site, so you can Stumble pages with one click (just as many sites let you Digg content) and can Stumble your way around content within the site in question. The Huffington Post and HowStuffWorks are StumbleUpon’s first two partners, but it will roll these features out to other sites, including RollingStone.com and The National Geographic.
This is just a quickie post–I really want to try the new StumbleUpon for myself and tell you what I think. And I will when I can, but it doesn’t appear to be live just yet.
Until it is, here’s an image of the new StumbleUpon, provided by the company: