The Matter App has potential (yet still needs some work).

@waffletchnlgy
2 min readSep 18, 2021

I recently started using a new reading application called Matter (getmatter.app). The application is in an early beta.

It is both brilliant and a bit confusing.

The application collects articles to read later, either online or offline. In that way it is similar to Instapaper and Pocket. It has a browser extension to collect articles.

One great feature is that you can subscribe to newsletters or forward newsletters to Matter. I read these newsletters like I read a blogpost or an article online.

With an Apple Pencil in hand, I highlight interesting passages in the articles. I am not limited to a number of highlights as has been the case with free edition of Pocket.

Sharing highlights is very easy. A clear image with the highlighted text is created that you can then share via social media.

Thus far, the Collect — Read — Highlight — (optionally Share) works well.

The team working on Matter is responsive to feedback, and has an easy way to provide it into their slack channel.

There are a few things which confuse me, don’t work yet or are lacking. (I realize this is still an early Beta product).

  • There is a concept of Discover, Inbox and Queue. The navigation between them, how to process them, or move things needs from fine tuning. E.g., In discover-new-articles mode, you can not swipe to dismiss an article. I keep seeing the same discovery list. Also the add-to-queue swiping action didn’t work yet in the Beta.
  • You can add “Writers” to your list of people to follow. It is not clear where the list of writers comes from. From my twitter feed? From a list curated by Matter? How can I find more?
  • When sharing a snippet, the imagine only contains the highlight and not a link to the article containing the highlight.
  • It wasn’t immediately obvious to me to see all my highlights in one place, or to search through them. You can export them Notion or Readwise. I presume you can search through them there. I would love to just see them all within Matter.
  • The most important missing piece are privacy settings. I don’t want to share everything I read. Currently, all your highlights are visible to others who follow you. Rather, I want my highlights and the articles I read to be private by default, and public by choice. (Btw — How does this work when I share a highlight to the paid newsletter? Are people able to access the paid newsletter content this way? That would run afoul with those companies quickly, no?)

Regardless of the current shortcomings, this application has potential for the avid reader and curator-type of person.

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@waffletchnlgy

Coach, cheerleader, blocker, and tackler for my team. Building the connectivity platform for Autonomous Systems. More info: https://janvanbruaene.carrd.co/