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?).
Then you’re prompted to choose colors for your editions, choose topics you want to see, and arrange them in order of preference. I set mine up in this order: Technology, Local News, Top News, Sports, Business, Health & Fitness, and so on.
In the Delivery section of settings for the app you can set what time you want new editions delivered and whether push notifications are enabled.
In the Profile are of the app’s settings you can add interests by using keywords – I added iPad and iPad 2 straight away. You can also add sources – by default it recognizes well-known, large sites as you type (e.g. TechCrunch). If you enter a site name it doesn’t recognize it pops up a message to let you know it was unable to find it and promises to add it soon. So if you happen to try the app out it would absolutely marvelous if you ask it to add iPad Insight as a source.
The slickest method it offers for customizing your reading experience more as you use the app more is through tags on articles. You can tap on a tag (keyword) used in an article that you want to see more of, or tap an X for those you don’t want to see more of. You can also toggle the showing of article tags on an off with a single tap.
Issues are downloaded in the background, so you can get started on reading well before they’ve completed.
The Share button offers all the standard options - share via email, Twitter, and Facebook, bookmark, and open in Safari.
Navigation in the app is very good. The bottom nav bar gives you quick one-tap access to Articles, Sections, your Profile area, Text Size adjustments, Settings, and more. And it’s easy to just swipe through the article and sections.
My only gripe with the app is that it only offers portrait mode. I think that’s a very bad choice in any reading-focused iPad app. I much prefer to be able to read in whatever mode I feel like.
Overall though, Editions looks very promising. I set out this morning intending to give it just a quick look before posting about it, but the app quickly drew me in and I spent a large chunk of the morning reading through its sections.
Flipboard is the standard-setter for iPad news magazine type apps, and it seems strange to say this about a title from AOL – but Editions looks like a very worthy rival in this space. It’s definitely grabbed some first home screen space on my iPad and I’m looking forward to using it more and seeing how it improves / adds features in future updates.
Here’s an App Store link for Editions by AOL; it’s a free app.