Tonic

Daily personalized reads

Tonic is a new iOS app (available now in the US app store) that gives you a personalized selection of reads every day. No breaking news or hot takes; just a cool, calm place to discover the best of the internet, privately.
Discussion
Would you recommend this product?
9 Reviews3.3/5
Hi! I lead Product at Canopy (the company behind Tonic). It's easy to be frustrated by the state of the internet and sense of powerlessness over our time/attention/data out here in 2k19. I think it's also easy to feel like there are no real alternatives; that the status quo is the only way tech can work. Canopy (https://canopy.cr) was founded to challenge that notion, and Tonic is the first public expression of our private personalization architecture, a new way of doing things. We're shipping it early as a testbed for us to evolve account-less private personalization and new mechanics for discovery, transparency, and control. Tonic is a new way to discover five delightful things to read each day, with a particular focus on pieces/publications that might be underserved by an existing online ecosystem optimized for breaking news and outrage. It looks simple, but Tonic is completely novel under the hood and in how it talks to the server; I like to think of it as a modest ambassador from a different, kinder future. It might even recommend you a poem. ;) SO MUCH yet to do (including expand beyond the US and iOS), but I am excited to get started! Let us know what you think, we're on deck to answer any questions you might have.
@flaneur I love the idea but, why not an Android app? It's the most used platform for mobile. I welcome curated information that's not based on my click habits. Why continue to show me things I already know about? Show me something new and take my mind in a new direction. Just get me an Android app to do it. :)
Damn this is pretty! Alright I'll ask... Android in the future? 🙏
@maroonvans Good question! Android is definitely on our minds for the future. Sign up for emails on our website and we'll keep you posted.
If there was an android app and worked outside of the US
Is there any plans to make this available outside the US?
@aaronoleary Good question! One of the things we care a lot about with Tonic is recommending a diverse range of sources and writers you might not otherwise find. We’re initially curating with a US-audience in mind, and heard during our beta program that we weren’t surfacing much content from other markets. Before launching more broadly, we would want to invest in uncovering the right people and publications to recommend. In the future we hope to expand to other markets (and beyond iOS).
@emmatangerine Love that approach so much and so willing to wait when it means that quality is at the forefront of what you do. Congrats on the launch, I can't wait to use it!
@emmatangerine Can I give you a suggestion? You have a potentially viral product, don't apply to much control on it or you'll lower the impact. The tech-savvy audience outside US reads the same exact books that the tech-savvy readers from USA read and love. We don't have an Italian Malcom Gladwell or a German Tim Ferris, by the way, so we already had to adapt to this situation. Consider this, you have just lost the opportunity to have thousands of non-US product-hunters, reached by today's PH newsletter, download your app and make your numbers bigger and better. Who knows how many of us, many already paying for blinkist and scribd, will look again for your app in the future.
@emmatangerine I agree with @enricofrascati. It’s not like a person from the UK won’t be able to understand and gain anything from an article in a publication that targets readers in the US. If you can understand English, you can understand English articles—period. “This app is not available in your country” is the most annoying pop up there is. Especially when it’s completely unwarranted. I suggest you make the app available globally and simply “warn” users that you are “curating with a US-audience in mind”. Problem solved, if anyone could call that a problem. By the way, I find the fact that you’re apparently planning to show different articles to people in other countries in the future (“Before launching more broadly, we would want to invest in uncovering the right people and publications to recommend”) problematic. The Chinese government could argue that they are doing the same thing with their nationwide firewall (showing their citizens the “right” articles) but others would just call it what it is. Censorship.
This feels like a curated collection of the articles on the internet that I actually want to read 🙏