Normally we research a topic on our laptop or PC. They are more convenient because we can easily search for resources, sort out important points and capture necessary images with the help of efficient software suites available. After doing so, we can prepare our notes and easily present it in our main research paper. But, can you do all this on an Android smartphone?
I don’t know about the latter part, but I do know about the former. Yes, you can effectively and easily research your topic on Android just like you would do it on PC. Let’s see how you can do it.
How to Effectively Research a Topic on Android
A web browser is an integral part of the research. You can search, sort, and extract content according to your liking. Now, you can do the same thing on your Android Smartphone with the new task based browser – Tangram Browser.
With Tangram browser, you can easily search for websites and collect resources, form a stack of resources and then sort out the necessary content needed for research. Along with that, you get the capability to make notes and take screenshots. After all of it, you can bookmark the content or the entire session of research for further use. Now, let’s explore Tangram.
How to Use Tangram Browser
The app is pretty easy to use. There are basically three sections – Search (Web), Stack and Bookmark, which we will explore further. But, before you do anything, you will definitely want to increase the font size. Drag out the sidebar from the left and you’ll get the option. Now, let’s start our research. I’ve taken Li-Fi as an example here.
So, normally in research people use Google. But, Tangram provides all search engines. Hit the search icon or the so-called FAB button in the bottom-right corner. At the top, tap on the tangram icon and you’ll get all popular search engines including Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Duckduckgo and two Chinese search engines too.
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Now, if you keep the default Tangram search then you’ll get Google search results styled in the app’s native design.
There’s a benefit to search with Tangram search. You can directly send a link to Stack by swiping it from the left and delete it from the list by swiping it from right. Every link that you open from the web will be saved for future use until you remove it.
Now, if you choose to search with other search engines, then, this might not be the case. It’ll load the page as a normal web browser but you won’t get the swiping features as you get in Tangram search.
Now, on opening the links from no matter what search engine you use, you’ll get a toolbar on the top. Tools include Stack icon (to send it to your stack), Snapshot and Reload. One feature I’d like to point out in the web section is the grouping of links.
There is no tabbing feature available to open multiple links. But, instead, Tangram groups the links by the root link from where they were opened. So, as in our case, it’s google.com. To group a link, you’ll have to open it in the new tab. Long tap on the link for further options.
As shown in the above screenshot links are grouped based on the root link from where they were opened. But don’t forget to open them in the new tab. Also, you’ll get a toast saying Grouped.
Now, after you’ve explored all the links in the web section, you just have to send the best ones to the Stack section by swiping from the right. The links that are not swiped will remain the web section until you delete them.
Now, as the link enter the stack section, you get the ability to take notes. Long tap on the link and in the toolbar you’ll get a note icon. Tap on it and add your notes for the link. You can copy-paste content from the site and add it in your notes.
Or else what you can do is take a Snapshot. Highlight the section and take a snapshot. You can also extract the image. Everything gets beautifully stacked under the link.
(However, you don’t get ANY features while you take a note.)
Well, that’s all there’s to it, in the Stack section. You find the best content and note down important stuff. Now, you have to send them to the bookmark section. To do so again swipe the links from the left.
In the bookmark section, you sort these links into folders. Depending on the context of links and how you’ve planned research, create folders accordingly. You can also create a folder inside a folder. Well, that means you can create a specific folder for each topic that you research.
You can select multiple links and move them to a folder or just create a new folder.
The App’s Not Perfect Though
In the sidebar menu, you’ll find a statement saying that Your current version of Tangram does not support Sign ups, Profiles and certain features. Well, ok that’s fine. So, where can I find the other version that contains all features?
I searched the whole of their website and social network pages but couldn’t find anything. There’s not even a beta program. Well, in my usage it appeared to be in beta. It crashes after continuous usage and even when opening many links. Also, there are many features that are missing.
The feature I think this app badly needs to have is export. A way to export user sessions and content to PC or other apps. Or maybe they could sync the information to their website.
So, Will You Research Your Topics on Tangram?
Well first, it’s a great concept. Something never explored before. And secondly Yes, from my side I will use Tangram for researching topics. We here at Guiding Tech research over topics every day to provide you guys the best content. This app can be helpful to us. (But, we’re looking forward to features like Sign ups and Profiles to work collaboratively.)
So, Tangram is an intelligent and powerful Android app for power users. But, is it intelligent enough to fulfill your research needs? Let us know in our forums.