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3 min read

Android Audio and Homepage Topics

New updates to help you get more value from your reading time

Your time matters. That’s why our team is committed to helping you get the most out of the time you spend reading on Medium.

This means helping you find stories that are relevant to your interests and goals; knowledge that goes beyond entertainment to positively impact your life. It also means helping you access that knowledge in ways that are convenient and enjoyable for you.

Audio on Android

Earlier this year, we introduced text-to-speech audio playback for stories on the Medium website and iOS app. Since then, we’ve been delighted to hear how so many of you can now use Medium at times when you previously couldn’t, like while driving, exercising, or just taking a screen break.

Since we launched audio, many of you have been asking us when we’d bring audio to the Medium Android app. Well, we heard you, and now we have some good news: audio on Android is now available in the most recent update to the app.

Unlike on web and iOS, audio on Android utilizes the device’s native text-to-speech engine. This means you’ll be able to use any of the voices that are already loaded on your Android device, which is handy if you already have one you like, or if you want to use a custom voice. You’ll also be able to listen to Medium stories even when you’re not connected to the internet.

Here’s how to play the audio version of a story in the Android app:

Tap the play icon on the story screen to start audio playback.

Android friends — give it a try and tell us what you think. How could we improve it from here? Let us know in the comments.

New Homepage Experience

We rolled out some updates to the homepage to make it easier for you to find stories based on your interests and the writers you follow.

Previously, the homepage had a list of topic tags above the story feed. When you clicked on one of these tags, you were taken to a separate tag page with a different layout.

Now, we’ve moved those topics into the tabs right above the feed. When you click a topic, the feed below will instantly update with relevant posts, helping you find stories you’ll love without having to leave the page.

Note: we also renamed the old “Recommended” tab to “For You”

It’s a subtle change, but it’s resulted in a simpler, more focused experience on this page, and the effects have been remarkable. When we first tested this with an initial group of people, we found that the new experience led to a significant boost in satisfaction. Folks were reading more posts and for longer periods of time. Given that outcome, we decided to make the change for everyone.

It’s important to note that as part of this decluttering, this update also removed the “Following” avatar row that we know some of you have loved in the past. We found that replacing it with the new Following tab (which shows a true reverse-chron list of stories written by writers you follow) works far better for almost everyone, and increases reading time by 110%.

Our work here is far from finished, and we want to hear from you. How else do you think we can improve the homepage? Let us know in the comments.

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