At last! Quora has released their official iPhone app. The free application lets users ask and answer questions on the Quora network, view and edit their profiles, and browse nearby questions, answers, and topics in surrounding areas. If you’re not familiar with Quora, think of it as a Wikipedia of ever evolving Q&A topics with specific answers tailored to your precise problems or concerns. It’s a community, so you can also help others by contributing your knowledge by answering questions on topics with which you have expertise. While not entirely a new idea (Ask.com, Answers.com and Yahoo Answers have done it before), Quora has picked up a ton of momentum and become extremely successful. The success of Quore is due to its quality content, trusted community, speed, and ease of use. Questions and answers on Quora are from actual people who have a real Facebook profile, are bright, influential, and are deeply engaged fans of the service. Like Twitter, Quora lets users follow each other. These social aspects and the ability to vote answers up/down work to promote quality content in Quora. Another feature of Quora is the ability to comment on answers which creates a discussion and gives conversations a lifelike context.
Once you load the Quora iPhone app you can either log into your existing account or create a new account. If you’re in the mood for killing some time and learning a few things, the Home tab of the Quora app will keep you entertained with an excellent mix of questions and answers from the custom topics you are following.
One of the best features of the iPhone app is the ability to manage your Quora profile on the go. Here you can edit your profile photo by either taking a picture on your iPhone or uploading one from your Camera Roll. You can also set your location, write a short bio and a detailed description about yourself. For a more notarized profile, add your location, employment history and even schools you’ve attended as topics. Your profile lists people you follow, and users who are following you. See a list of topics you’re following, and add new ones by searching for keywords. Build and showcase your expertise to the public using your Quora profile. Your Quora profile may even come into play with recruiters so be mindful of that. Job candidates can be screened using their Quora profiles just as they are with LinkedIn and Twitter. Thankfully this fact serves to further advocate quality on Quora and keep the community and its behavior in check.
Speaking of topics, the Quora app lets you find questions, topics and people using a single smart keyword search box. So as you start typing the results are filtered in real time and narrowed down as you continue. Once you find a topic, you can follow/unfollow it, see its latest activity, view its followers, read its best questions, and answer open questions. You can even help organize and manage topics in the Quora database, and share them on Twitter or Facebook.
Another use for the Quora app is to casually read questions being asked on the topics you care about. Since the Quora app lets you search for questions, it also serves as a great reference utility. Use it to find possible answers to your questions without even having to post a new question in most cases. The app also gives you a way to write answers and share your smarts with the world, or just read existing Q&A material and vote on answers you find useful.
Topics you’ll find on Quora are almost unlimited. You can find answers to questions like why oneway flights are more expensive, what jobs to pursue if you are an aspiring comedian, or even local questions like what local restaurants to try out in a new city.
Speaking of local, the Quora app has an entire section devoted to it. Hit the Nearby tab and you’ll find a map along with a list of topics in that area. If you find a question you like without an answer, you can simply follow it and get push notifications when someone posts an answer to it. If the question is somewhat private, you can also communicate with specific users in private in Quora.
To add a new question, just search for them and if you don’t see a related question you can ask by tapping the blue link. You can make your question viewable by all, only by followers of the topic, or post it anonymously. Quora also allows you to write a Post if you just want to get something off your chest, voice your opinion, or share an idea with your followers.
Overall the Quora app works quite fast and is very easy to navigate. The user interface was laid out thoughtfully and has a very Facebook like feel to it. You will probably want to keep the Quora app on your iPhone as a good reference point. An iPad specific version of the Quora app is not yet available.
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