I’ve been enjoying my free time quite a bit while I workout a new framework for understanding other humans. I’ve made specific efforts to avoid “news” in all of its grotesque forms. It’s a challenge partially alleviated by finding other mental outlets.
Two outlets I’ve enjoyed are Hardbound and Timeline.
Hardbound presents a series of simple slides to illustrate a broad topic with attractive graphics and video clips. Examples of topics include Magnetism, The Electoral College, and How Explosions Work. The information in Hardbound is superficial but enjoyable. My background is in science so it’s easy to be nitpicky about gaps in the story. When I compare it to the “news” it’s far more information dense and worthwhile.
Still, an average Hardbound presentation takes just a minute to complete. I’d like to see more references provided for each presentation but enjoy the rich media and attractive graphics enough to keep coming back for more.
Hardbound offers an IAP for patrons to support the work with either $2, $5, or $20 monthly payments. This provides access to the locked back catalog of presentations. I haven’t purchased any of these.
Timeline follows a more traditional format. Beneath a striking hero image is a moderately well researched essay. The topics in Timeline have a decidedly political bent this time of year but range from Japanese internment camps in the U.S. to Apple’s car initiative.
I enjoy the longer reads in Timeline over most Medium essays I see. Timeline feels like a curated and edited Medium outlet, which is a good thing. The iOS app is good enough to make reading on my phone relaxing and comfortable. The mix of images, videos, and source links hits my sweet spot for quick informational reads.
Timeline has a lot of content. There are 1-3 new articles per day. With the built-in search and access to back content, I can always jump in and find something interesting to read.
Sharing stories in Timeline works well. The app exports a web accessible link and a descriptive title for sharing through any iOS sharing extension. Here’s an example:
When Thanksgiving day was rescheduled to maximize shopping time - via @Timeline_Now https://timeline.com/thanksgiving-rescheduled-maximize-shopping-5d30feb3ce1c
Timeline can be accessed on the web without an account.
Hardbound | iPhone Only | Free with IAP Support
Timeline | iPhone Only | Free