1. electricbopeep's Avatar
    I'm really liking the News360 app. I'd been using the AP app and had tried out the Huffington Post but neither of those suit my needs or tastes for a news app.

    Here's a basic summary of News360's features from their website:
    • Aggregates thousands of news sources for coverage from all points of view
    • Excellent presentation and reading experience optimized for the mobile screen.
    • Tracks your favorite news objects across all sources using our sophisticated algorithms.
    • Delivers local and personalized news the more you read — the smarter it gets.
    • Quickly share interesting stories with your peers via email, facebook or twitter.


    Here's my take on the app:
    + predefined categories can be removed and reordered

    + presentation is story-centric - one story with multiple sources of coverage. This is useful for my news-reading habits. Sometimes I want the straightforward AP version, sometimes I want coverage from a local source, sometimes I want coverage from an industry-specific source and sometimes I want editorialized versions from a variety of sources.

    + stories and larger issues can be explored and tracked via news objects (people, places, organizations, products) across all available sources. The objects appear as hypertext in the article or the user can search for them. Upon selecting a news object, an encyclopedic definition is displayed, along with related articles and an option to follow.

    + Individual sources can be followed. The sources are curated, so the selection isn't as large as, say, an RSS reader. This limitation is annoying when I want to follow a subsection of a source that would normally be available as its own RSS feed, for example New York Times > NY/Region. On the upside, sources aren't limited to newspapers either. For example, blogs like Engadget and Techcrunch are included. Howe

    +Favorites: this pane tracks the # of new stories from the news objects and sources that you're following. Unlike the main category pane, selecting an object or source will bring up a list of headlines in chronological order without an accompanying photo, articles from different sources aren't combined into one headline.

    + Photos: You can browse headlines by photos. Also, when you open up a story, you can swipe between related photos from different sources.

    + Loads and updates quickly and automatically. (With the AP app, I had to manually refresh)


    - You flick through one item at a time rather than scrolling continuously through a list of headlines. This behavior doesn't bother me too much but I'm sure it's an annoyance to others.

    - Upon selecting a story, you only get a brief and you have to click "read full article" to be taken to a full version of the article on the source's website. This happens within the app. Once again, this behavior doesn't bother me because 1)a brief is well-suited to this particular app and 2)since this app is a 3rd party news aggregator, it's ethically questionable to present a text-only, native version of the full article

    - When viewing the full article, there are no options. This means that you can't share the full article text - you can only share the brief and a link to the article (via email, Facebook and Twitter). You can't view the full article in Internet Explorer. You can't bookmark the article.

    - There was a bug where the headline wouldn't match the encompassed article - you would click the headline and get the wrong story. Not sure if this has been fixed yet.

    - The content in the app relies on a connection to News360s servers. If your phone's data connection is off, no news for you! It's not possible to save stories for offline viewing, from what I can tell. This shortcoming might be tolerable if the app offered Read It Later or InstaPaper integration, but it doesn't.

    - No live tile. I would like a live tile to display unread counts on the most recently-updated favorites.

    As you can tell, this isn't a typical source-specific news app nor is it a typical news-oriented RSS reader. I think it's most comparable to Google News, in that it presents many different sources for one story and that you can subscribe to a feed on a topic/keyword across multiple sources.

    There's also a News360 app for iOS, so I'll be downloading that to see how it compares.
    eta: I downloaded the iOS version before giving away my iPod Touch. It has a very high rating on the App Store. It's designed very well and has more features, including InstaPaper integration. This is encouraging for the WP7 version.

    Unfortunately, News360 hasn't been working for the last couple of days - I keep getting an error and no content is showing up. I'm trying out GooNews and Project Emporia in the meantime.
    Last edited by electricbopeep; 01-12-2011 at 01:03 PM.
    ninjaap and foosball like this.
    12-31-2010 04:14 PM
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