StumbleUpon users intent on drifting through the Web while out and about now have two new first-party options.
On Thursday, the company introduced applications for both the iPhone and Android that put the site's signature Web stumbling into a pocket-friendly size. On both platforms, the app simply adds a built-in frame bar on top of, or underneath an embedded Web browser.
The bar (which cannot be hidden) contains the usual array of StumbleUpon buttons with a thumbs up and thumbs down and a stumble button that takes users to a completely random page. There's also the requisite toggle to share pages you're on with friends both on StumbleUpon and social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Unlike visiting StumbleUpon.com, users of the app need to be registered members of StumbleUpon before they can use it, though there's a way to sign up if you're not. The one upside to this nuisance is that it carries over all your existing preferences, including favorites and preferred topics of interest, which can be browsed like TV channels from within the app.
One neat feature that's been added to compensate for potentially slow network connections is a "thumbnail mode" that gives you a small preview of the page the app wants to load up, as well as information on how many views it's gotten, and the likes and reviews of other StumbleUpon members. This can be turned on or off, though here Android users have a slight advantage since they can change that setting without leaving the app. iPhone users will have to head to their system settings to make the switch instead; on the plus side, the app features fast app switching, so you can come back to it from any other app and now lose what you were looking at.
Along with the iPhone and Android apps, StumbleUpon has also had a similar, albeit larger-screened offering for iPad users since late June. Going forward the company says it plans to bring native versions of its service to other platforms, along with push notifications and improved friend discovery.
Note: Android users can download it by clicking on, or scanning the app's QR code posted after the break. … Read more