StumbleUpon is either a great way to find new and interesting things on the internet or a great way to waste time on the internet, depending on how you look at it. The service lets you hit a “Stumble” button to visit not-quite-random web pages.
The not-quite part comes in when you register for a StumbleUpon account and install the company’s toolbar which lets you give pages a thumbs up or down, submit links, and befriend other StumbleUpon users. In other words, StumbleUpon has all the tools to make a pretty good guess about what kind of content you’re likely to enjoy, whether it’s silly cat videos or computer coding tutorials.
Now you can get your little piece of random on the go as well. StumbleUpon launched iPhone and Android apps today. I took the iPhone version for a spin, and it works a lot like the desktop version. You hit the Stumble button and away you go. But the mobile app has been formatted for the small screen. Sort of.
The good news is that the home screen is awfully handy. It gives you a list of items you might want to stumble through, including topics you’ve already said your interested in and types of content that are good for viewing on a mobile device including photos, videos, and news.
On the down side, the StumbleUpon app has persistent toolbars that hang out on the top and bottom of every page. While this makes it easy to share links with your contacts, give pages the thumbs up or down, or see what comments other users have left, it leaves less space for actually viewing content. That might not be a problem if you have an iPhone 4 with a retina display. But on an old fashioned iPhone 3GS or iPod touch, the StumbleUpon app takes up a substantial amount of the screen real estate with buttons that you don’t need to press all the time.
It’s also odd that while you can read comments left by others, you can’t submit comments from the mobile app.
You can check out a few more screenshots after the break.