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 …
NewsFlash offers news for the following countries: USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, France, and Israel, with the feeds for Germany, France, and Israel offered in both English and each nation’s native language.
It’s a free app, supported by iAds – which appear as relatively large banner ads at the bottom of the app’s pages. These can be removed via a $1.99 In-App purchase.
– There’s a lot of flash in NewsFlash. As in, it’s very speedy – its streams are constantly updating and everything is fast and responsive throughout the app.
– The UI is basic and minimal but also quite pleasant to use. For example, it’s very easy to swipe left on the top nav bar and switch the country you see news from.
– The app offers a good range of news sections, including News, World, Sports, Tech, Business, Politics, Entertainment, and lots more. It’s simple to customize these as well – remove those that don’t interest you and choose the order in which topics appear in the nav bar.
– In the settings for each section you can also remove any individual feeds you don’t enjoy. And you can add individual feeds in each section as well.
– There are a number of other ways you can customize the app too – including things like setting the font size (anywhere from 14 to 36 point), toggle on/ off whether to show story previews and whether to show images, choose a page background color (Light, Dim, or Dark), set how many story preview lines you want to see in the streams (from 1-15, with 4 as the default), and connect to Facebook if you want to be able to share news to your wall.
– The inline browser used when you tap to open a news item is good and fast as well.
– There’s a nice little self-driven tutorial walk-through when you first launch the app. This won’t be needed by many experienced users, but it’s very well done and helpful for those who are not so well acquainted with news and RSS apps.
– If you use Google Reader for your RSS feeds, you may be disappointed that there is no way to import your feeds from there.
– There’s also no generic way to import feeds via an OPML file. You can only add feeds one at a time within the app – so you’re going to need to largely be content with those offered by default, or perhaps just gradually add some favorites over time.
I think it’s really more of a news app than it is an RSS app.
NewsFlash is a great solution for keeping up with breaking news (and news in general) on the iPad. It’s very clean, fast, customizable, and easy to use. The range of topics, nations, and languages covered makes it a good all-in-one option if you’re trying to pare down the news apps you keep on the iPad.
It’s definitely a keeper for me, and an app that will likely make it to my first home screen very soon.
Here’s an App Store link for NewsFlash; it’s a free, ad-supported app.
Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page.