There is no shortage of applications leveraging your interests. Helping you collect, organize, and even experience them. Which is why it’s fairly novel when you find one that does this in a way we haven’t really seen before.
Earlier this year, Pearltrees introduced its Web app (and shortly after its iPad app), an extremely visual, extremely smart method for managing your interest graph. The application organizes your interests into groups of pearls that sprout out in different directions, graphically charting where things intersect or overlap. Users are also welcome to collaborate on a Pearltree. To use the ever-popular “it’s like” phrasing, it’s like Pinterest if Pinterest were smarter.
Today, Pearltrees is bringing this experience to the iPhone. All of the assumed features are there: the ability to explore pearls, discover new content, create new pearls, and search your pearls. It’s difficult to combine this much information with such an uncluttered UI, but Pearltrees manages. Choosing an individual pearl will keep you within the app but bring up the respective Web page.
But hands down, what’s really engaging about Pearltrees isn’t anything new: it’s simply exploring the ties and relationships between all the content that users are creating. Hitting the discover icon allows you to hit arrows that let you virtually wander around insider other users’ collections of information. Pearls appear as you jump around the screen, and upon choosing one you’re immediately spun into a world of incredibly diverse data. YouTube videos, articles, downloads, Spotify playlists, NPR interviews.
Pearltrees CEO Patrice Lamothe likens the iPhone app to a library in your pocket, which is an apt description: you really are getting a sampling of the Web instead of just an echo chamber. For all that’s right and good about applications like Tumblr and Pinterest, you can come across much of the same type of content in a sitting. They aren’t really for learning or collecting, and they aren’t trying to be. But if you need something a little more mentally stimulating, then consider Pearltrees an improved data destination.