Genieo is a piece of software that constantly watches what you read online and then builds a personalized newspaper-like startpage for you and alerts you when it finds new stories about topics that you are currently interested in. At launch, Genieo was only available for Windows machines. Now, the Israel-based company is finally launching its Mac version as well. I’ve been testing it for a while and the service has quickly become a daily staple in my information diet.
What makes Genieo so special? As the company’s co-founder Sol Tzvi told me when I first wrote about the company last September, one of the features that makes the app stand out is that it doesn’t just look at the feeds you subscribe to and those that your twitter and Facebook friends share (though it does all of that as well), but it also actively creates a database of topics you are currently interested in. This matters, because one day you might be interested in buying a new laptop and want to see information about that, but then a few days later, you have bought your new machine and don’t want to see these stories anymore.
Genieo tracks your reading behavior as you go through your day. Thanks to this, it can identify new topics you are interested in, automatically subscribe to the RSS feeds of sites you often visit and also notice when you are not interested in a certain topic anymore. Of course, you can also manage all your feed subscriptions and the range of topics the app should watch by hand. For the most part, though, this isn’t necessary at all.
While the service offers a mobile page for smartphones and tablets as well, it’s important to note that those personalized sites only work while your desktop is up and running.
All of Genieo’s calculations happen on your own machine, so you don’t have to worry about your privacy.
Great Recommendations: Design Could Use an Update, Though
While the reading recommendations are top-notch and on-par with my favorite mobile recommendation-based RSS reader My6Sense (though that service has a slightly different approach), the overall user interface of Genieo feels a bit antiquated in the age of beautiful apps like Flipboard. It’s perfectly adequate – and the app’s mobile site actually looks very good – but the homepage looks rather cluttered.