App review: News360

Free app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 provides integrated news discovery features

Keeping up with the latest information in the digital age is relatively simple. There is an abundance of different news and information sources out there, you just need to find one you like and subscribe to it. What isn't so simple is finding different views and opinions on a subject.

The homogenous nature of personalised news sources could be considered limiting. Internet activist Eli Pariser has coined the term ‘filter bubble’ to describe the effect of people only ever seeing information that’s been tailored to their personal tastes. This could be through the use of smart algorithms, like in a Google search, or with personal curation, like Twitter.

Imagine if you only ever read blogs about one technology framework, you would be left in the dark about every other option available, potentially leaving you to be blindsided by missed opportunities.

As with so many other first world problems, there is an app to solve this one.

News360 is a free app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7.

It’s got a lot in common with other news readers like Flipboard or Pulse (both also free); you can add feeds, share stories on social networks, and save them to read offline. What makes this app stand out from the others is its integrated news discovery features.

When you first open the app, you’re given the option to register for a News360 account. You don’t need to register to use the app, but having an account lets you save preferences and feeds across devices, and also use the web version on your computer.

The home screen shows a list of articles from over 18,000 preloaded publications including major international news sites, and also smaller niche blogs. If you want a different angle on a story, you just need to swipe across and you’ll be shown a different article on the same topic.

If available, videos and images scroll across the top of the page, giving you yet another way to get information.

People who like clean undistracted reading experiences will appreciate the Reader function, which presents articles in plain text at the press of a button. One feature that was a let down is the ‘360 View’ tab. This shows news as a scrolling stream of images, which is interesting at first, but can quickly make a dent in your data cap.

Overall, News360 gives you a rich news discovery experience. The app is perfect for people who want to keep up with the latest business trends, and also long evolving topics.

4.5 stars. Free

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