From their original origins as ‘Rap Genius’ (actually Rap Exegesis, but that’s a longer story) the online lyric and web annotation startup Genius, based in Brooklyn, has today announced they are releasing their first app for Android, alongside a redesign for their existing site and iOS app.
Genius originally allowed users of the service to annotate song lyrics with interpretations and commentary. The service was originally aimed at rap music but has expanded to other musical genres as well as literature, news, history, screen entertainment and sports. The service could be likened to Wikipedia, with a major differentiation being that crowd-sourced information is embedded alongside the content. Not all content is user-generated though, with Genius sporting an impressive number of ‘verified artists and producers’ undertaking to annotate their own content. Genius currently has a beta platform allowing users to annotate any web page, and with this the reach of the service could become significantly wider.
The company’s new Android app is however limited to viewing annotations and up/down-voting that content. The iOS counterpart – which also received an overhaul today – allows users to create and edit annotations in the app. Genius has apparently committed to bringing the missing features in a future update.
For what it is today, the app is simple and intuitive. You have the ability to discover what’s trending on Genius, search for an artist or content creators and view their available annotated works, and finally you can read the lyrics and annotations of those works.
Genius claims to have adopted material design, however that might just be a light interpretation of what exactly that means (there’s still a black status bar and no material-style animations). As a version 1.0 app, we’ll give the developers some time to receive feedback and check back with them later.
Are you a Genius user? Is this the companion app experience you’ve been looking for to complement your listening experience? Let us know in the comments.