In today’s busy world it’s hard to find time to keep current on the top news stories. When you do (finally) find time to open your favorite news app, it can be hard to navigate a maze of stories. Yahoo has found a solution to this problem – News Digest. News Digest is a simple app that delivers news to you twice per day, at times you specify.
Hourly News is a simple little single-purpose app for the iPad and iPhone. It’s a podcast app that brings hourly news updates from a small but blue-chip list of sources and presents them in bare-bones basic interface that’s a pleasure to use.
I only just discovered the app a couple days back thanks to a post by MG Siegler, but it has become an instant favorite on my iPad mini.
The sources included in the app are NPR , BBC, CBC, ABC, CBS, WSJ, ESPN, VOA, SRN, FOX news, and Bloomberg Radio – so you get good coverage of pretty much all major news topics.
My hometown’s leading newspaper launched a new iPad app yesterday. It’s called Today’s Paper from The Austin American-Statesman and it’s beyond terrible. It’s not just a terrible iPad newspaper app, it’s an embarrassing app to even have published in the App Store. I’m amazed any sensible publisher has put their name on this.
I should’ve realized how useless this ‘paper’ was when attempting to take a look at the app when it launched yesterday. That in itself was a farcically bad experience. It went something like this:
— I run an iPad site, do iPad app reviews, and especially enjoy iPad newspaper and magazine editions. So I was excited to see a new iPad app from Austin’s leading newspaper. I’m not a current print or online Statesman subscriber but I was a very keen potential iPad subscriber.
— I installed the app and immediately found that I could not so much as tap to view a single article before hitting a roadblock. To view anything at all in the app you have to sign in as an existing subscriber or take on a new subscription. I’ve been covering iPad newspaper and magazine apps for over two years now and I cannot recall a single other title that refuses to show any content at all before demanding your money. Great start, and it only gets (much) worse from there.
— I knew I couldn’t sign in so I hit the Subscribe button and chose the only available option – the $9.99 per month subscription. I tried this several times and got a variety of error messages that all seemed to imply it was just not possible to buy anything on the iPad App Store. Just for laughs, I went to the App Store, installed an iPad magazine, and bought an issue of it with zero errors or problems.
Yesterday saw the release of the latest newspaper iPad edition to hit the iPad App Store – London Evening Standard iPad Edition. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this paper, here’s a little background on it, via its App Store page:
The London Evening Standard is a quality daily newspaper, published in tabloid format in London, England. It is the regional evening paper for London and the southeast of England, with coverage of national and international news as well as topical features.
The paper celebrates London and what living in London is all about. It reports the news and fights balanced campaigns on behalf of Londoners.
Our features deliver a different flavor each day
Monday – Trends: Everything that is current, hip and of the moment in London from fashion to gadgets to cars
Tuesday – Fashion: Style and Sex: All the latest fashion and shopping advice
Wednesday – Heath and Beauty
Thursday- London Life: Living in the greatest city in the world and a guide to culture in the capital
Friday – Film and Music: Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to see and where to see it in the greatest city in the world.
I lived in London for many years and The London Evening Standard (or just The Standard) was a daily purchase and my reading material for the train trip home every evening. It’s a much ‘lighter’ style of paper than the morning broadsheets like The Times, The Guardian and others but usually a good read, especially during a commute home. So of course I was curious to see what their iPad edition is like when it hit the App Store yesterday.
NewsFlash is a relatively new breaking news and headlines RSS reader app for the iPad and iPhone. It uses quite a simple interface and offers breaking news and top stories from around the world and in a number of languages.
I have a clear favorite RSS reader app for the iPad, River of News, and use Twitter and notifications from a handful of news apps to attempt to keep up with breaking news – but I’m always on the lookout for more good news and RSS sources, so I’ve been giving NewsFlash a try over the last several days. The short story here is that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like this app. Hit the break for the reasons why …
River of News for Google Reader, as the name might give away, is an RSS reader for the iPad for those who use Google Reader to keep up with their favorite feeds.
I’m a big consumer of RSS feeds as a major part of how I keep up with news each day – whether it’s iPad and iOS news, general tech news, or just news in general. I also follow Twitter, Google+, and news magazines like Flipboard, Zite, Google Currents, and others to keep up with what’s happening – but tracking my 200 or so favorite feeds in Google Reader is still my most used and most effective way to try to keep up with the daily information overload we’re all faced with these days.
I’ve tried other RSS apps on the desktop but Google Reader in a browser has remained my favorite for years on the desktop. It was my favorite on the iPhone for a long while too – even after the App Store opened and many decent native RSS reader apps came along. These days I do most of my reading on the iPad, so finding a great RSS app for the iPad was a priority from Day 1. Happily, River of News hit the iPad App Store a few months after the iPad was released – and it has been my favorite RSS app ever since.
Instacast HD is the iPad version of the popular podcast client that was first available as an iPhone app. The iPhone version, Instacast, has been around since March of this year – the iPad app was released in late November.
iTunes on iOS has always handled podcasts, but only in a very basic way – with very few features to help you discover or enjoy podcasts. So there’s always been a need for really good podcast client apps on iOS.
I’ve been using Instacast since its release back in March and have been a big fan of the app ever since. Of course when I saw there was a new iPad app version I had high hopes for it and installed it right away. The short story on Instacast HD is if you enjoy podcasts and own an iPad you need to go get this app right away. For lots of good reasons why that is so, hit the break …
Editions by AOL is a new iPad-only magazine from the folks who pioneered CDs as coasters for our coffee mugs. It’s the latest social, highly customizable news magazine style app for the iPad, following in the footsteps of Flipboard and others that have lead the way in this category.
Here’s a little of its App Store intro:
Editions by AOL is a beautiful, new, daily magazine that reads you.
It learns what you like (and what you don’t) and delivers a magazine that’s personalized just for you, each and every day. … Whether you’re into Entertainment, Tech, or Fashion, or just want to keep up with business news or local happenings, Editions connects you with the best stories that match your interests.
I’ve been trying out Editions today and I have to say I’m quite impressed so far. Right from first launch it prompts you to start personalizing it by connecting to Facebook, Twitter and AOL/AIM (does anyone really still use those?).
U.S. News Weekly for the iPad is the new iPad edition, or ‘digital magazine’ from the editors of U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report is the latest long-established, blue-chip name in the world of print publications to launch an iPad title.
The good news for iPad-owning fans of U.S. News & World Report is that there is now an iPad edition and it’s only 99 cents for a month’s subscription. The bad news is that the quality of the iPad edition is nowhere near the quality of the print title.
Of course the content is good, but there is very little about this app that feels anything like a real iPad edition.
The screencap above is what a page looks like in Feedly on the iPad if you choose to turn your iPad into landscape mode. Feedly doesn’t recognize landscape mode at all, so you’re forced to use the app always in portrait mode. I think that’s a very bad design decision for any app that involves reading on the iPad. The way we choose to read on the iPad is both a very personal thing, and something that may well change depending on where you are, what time of day it is, and so on.
This is just one of a number of very disappointing aspects of Feedly on the iPad. Another major one is that the app makes it very difficult to see all of your feeds, if you have more than ten. I have over 200 subscriptions, so seeing only 10 in the home page’s Featured area is really not much use at all. And there is no ability to choose which feeds show up in the featured section. So we’re forced into portrait mode and forced to go with whatever the app thinks is the right list of featured feeds. Very lame.
OC Register for iPad is the iPad edition of the Orange County Register local newspaper. In amidst the big national titles on the iPad, it’s a ‘little’ title with big ambitions. In the welcome note to readers for the iPad edition, the editor promises:
We have taken a different path from others. What you see is not the newspaper in tablet form, but a new ,more lively, entertaining, and engaging experience.
That’s quite a bold statement, especially from a local newspaper. I’m a big follower of newspaper and magazine titles for the iPad, so any time I see an iPad edition with these sort of strong ambitions I’m interested straight away, excited even to see if the title can live up to them.
So I’ve been checking out the OC Register for iPad over the last couple of days – and I’m impressed …