Stack Exchange for Android brings the full experience to mobiles

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Stack Exchange is a network of questions and answers sites, and probably best known around here for the programming site Stack Overflow, the computing site Super user, it its math site.

The site is not limited to technology even though that is a strong part of it. You will also find business, life and arts, or culture and recreation groups on the network.

The sites do all use the same technology to operate and look like other "answers" types of sites on first glance. What sets it apart, besides the fact that the quality of answers is usually higher than in places such as Yahoo Answers, is that anybody can ask a question or post an answer on most groups, even without an account.

What is also different are the various gamification elements of the site, with users gaining reputation or badges while using the site.

Stack Exchange has released the official Android app for the service. The operators note that an iOS version is also in the making and will be launched later.

Stack Exchange for Android

stack exchange android super-user

The application for Android is free of charge and can be downloaded directly from the Google Play store. You do not need an account to use it, but can sign up for one or log in to an existing account.

You will notice that the generic feed that is displayed to you then is a bit off, or at least, it is off on my Galaxy Note 2 phone. Instead of just displaying one column of articles like you see on the first screenshot above, it displays a second cut off column to the right of that. It is very likely that this will get fixed soon however.

The feed is a new feature which does more than just display a list of topics from the sites you are subscribed to. Instead, it is a mix of all of your replies -- answers, comments, chat messages -- interesting questions tailored to your interests, and customized recommendations of questions that the app believes you can answer, based on sites and tags you participate in.

You can add sites that you are interested in, so that you can switch quickly between them using the app. All sites you subscribed to are listed on the left menu for fast access.

The sites look all identical when you open them. Active questions are displayed by default on the screen, which you can change at the top to use a different sorting filter such as newest or top.

sites-feedstack overflow mobile

Each question is displayed prominently, with the number of votes and answers listed next to it. When you open a question with a tap, you are taken to it right away. Here you find the question in detail, and all available answers.

The application supports notifications, which will be displayed whenever you receive a new inbox message on Stack Exchange. Notifications can be customized in the settings, for instance to set up quiet hours, or switch from vibration to sound.

The app asks for several permissions such as full network access, find accounts on the device, or modify or delete file contents of your USB stoage, which are all explained on the Stack Overflow website.

Verdict

If you are a Stack Exchange user, then using the app is a no-brainer provided that you have access to an Android device. If you are new to the site, you may also use it to get to know it. Since you do not need an account to browse the app, it is ideal for that as well.

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