As more of us now consume our news online, an informative and well-designed app is becoming a necessity. As a self-confessed news addict, here are my five favourite news apps:
1. BBC News
With over 10 million downloads, the BBC news app is one of the most popular available. It has a simple layout, and this app is one of the easiest ways to keep up with all of the latest news. Sharing articles across all of your social media networks is simple. Plus, you can customise which articles or topics are prioritised. This means you don’t have to scan through dozens of articles to find the ones you’re interested in, the app can do all that for you. Push notifications are also supported, so any breaking news (with a very dramatic notification sound!) is hard to miss. Access to the sports news and weather is all done through separate apps, which some may find frustrating.
2. The Guardian
The Guardian news app has a very clean design, incorporating video and images well across its articles. Compared with other news apps, there is a real sense of community as users are encouraged to create an account so that they can comment and share articles. Comment sections of websites can be controversial, but as users can’t comment anonymously this means that generally you will find a good debate. The journalists themselves regularly comment and reply to questions about their articles. Although adverts do feature throughout the app, you can subscribe with a monthly payment to remove them. Articles can be saved so that users can read them offline, which will help save precious mobile data.
3. Reuters TV
Slightly different to most news apps, Reuters TV combines all of the latest news into one video. You can choose the length of the video from 5 to 30 minutes, and also which stories are featured. There is also an automatic download feature, so that your content is always ready and available offline. The first month is a free trial, with a £1.49 a month subscription after that. A live feed option is also handy, showing the latest news as it happens. With a high level of customisation, the only drawback is the subscription fee!
Although not strictly a news app, Pocket is a valuable tool for anyone who enjoys reading articles on the go. Once installed, you can save articles from your browser and every other news app. Once downloaded they’re all presented in a very slick layout, with every article instantly available. All of your saved posts are presented in the same easy to read style, and they have just added a feature which can read the articles aloud for you. Plus, any articles you save are accessible anywhere, meaning content you save from your desktop will automatically save to your smartphone. This is perfect for anyone who finds themselves skipping between various apps, and it is all for free!
If you like to stay on top of what’s trending or the latest viral video, the Buzzfeed app is perfect. With a good mix of news, quizzes and humour, the Buzzfeed app is great for causal reading. With a strong social media aspect, articles are easy to share on almost every platform. Although their now famous list style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a refreshing break to the more serious news apps.
Although I don’t think there is one perfect news app, a combination of a few will be enough to satisfy avid news followers. If you struggle to pick one app to download, I’d recommend using Pocket to combine various articles from several sources. This allows you to pick and save the articles you find relevant and interesting, all kept in one neatly designed app.
-Tom Deacon, @tomdeacon7