Matter: My Most Used App

Yesterday I posted that I had jumped in with the new pricing strategy for Matter and become a Patron subscriber. Strangely, I thought that most people had heard of this amazing ‘Read it later’ app as it was the new hotness for a while. Following some questions on why I choose to use it and comparisons to other services, I thought I’d cover a the main thing I like about it.

The app has been a staple on my iPhone and iPad for what seems like forever, and giving back £130 for my free usage and receiving another 3 years of service thrown in is the least I could contribute. First things first, I honestly have no idea why I use it over another service. Not because it isn’t great, but because I haven’t used a whole load of different options and I just enjoy using Matter, so never look around. They’re a risk, like with note app, that you can spend too much time moving about and not enough time reading.

When it started, Matter had built into it a social side where you could follow friends and see what they were reading and see highlights and comments from them. I really enjoyed this part, and after spending a little over a year helping to develop Upnext I jumped ship to Matter. Using the free app to save all the content I found around the web to consume later. Matter calls itself “a better reader” and on the surface it is exactly that. You can save links from all over the web, not just articles, and access them later to read in a much better environment.

The app offers highlighting, commenting, leaving notes on sections you’re interested in, and all the usually expected functions of a reading app. The exceptional side to Matter is that it then combines with everything else to make your consumption of things better. Including an excellent integration with Gmail that pulls newsletters into your subscriptions tab with no interaction needed. This is especially useful for longer editions that I receive from Platformer or Galaxy Brain.

I can then highlight and takes notes on the parts that I want to remember later, and send them to wherever it is that I intend to save them. Matter already integrates with note-taking apps like Roam Research, Logseq and Obsidian, but I can also send them straight into my Apple Notes system or write about them in Ulysses. More often than not, though, I can archive them into my permanent folder and refer to them later on if needed.

All of this has been free for months, and even when they introduce the Subscription in January you will only pay if you want things like fluid highlighting, note-taking and integrations. It will remain a totally free read it later service with no ads. I think this is why I could never see myself using anything else. I love the app, it works well and does even more than I require it too, but I also trust the company. They are not using my consumption data to show me ads or sell it on for a quick profit.

The company now has a robust business model (it was a bit of a concern before, but I expected a subscription eventually) and see themselves as being around for years to come. There are other services around, I was a long-time user of Pocket, but Matter have built up for me as such it is and will continue to be my most used app. It continues to get better and better and now with even more funding behind it there are exciting time to come.

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