Reading news on an Android smartphone sometimes feels like an act of futility. Titles are tough to tap and get the right story, font is too small, the news isn’t refreshing quickly enough, and so on. Reading the news should be a smooth experience that doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out. Instead of going to the major news sites in the browser of your choice, use a news reader app to simplify the effort. You’ll find that you enjoy reading the latest updates and stories of interest once again with a good news reader.
Image via Flickr by IntelFreePress
Google Now is also known as that page you get when you swipe to the right on your Android. It’s a seemingly generic page until you set it up to reflect your likes and desires, including the news. Setting it up requires a little bit of training on your part, and a little bit of intuition on Google’s part. Set up Now with the news sources you prefer along with your topics of interest. After a short period of time, Now starts populating the page with news titles that it thinks will interest you.
Most people think of the Guardian as being a UK-based newspaper that focuses mainly on topics from the UK. In actuality, the Guardian focuses on news from around the world, and its coverage of major news stories is unparalleled. It has broken major scandals while maintaining a journalistic integrity that’s largely lost in modern times. The app allows you to access the news stories as they happen without going through hoops to find them. The app is free to download, and there is a subscription option available if you want access to more information.
The app looks similar to the website, and lets you decide what you want to see at the top of your news feed. Set it to put up American news first or ask for a mix of national and international headlines. It looks great on smartphones and works well with a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 from T-Mobile.
Feedly runs on RSS, or Rich Site Syndication. RSS is a protocol that lets you pick and choose what titles you want to see from news sites. For example, the website Metafilter runs an RSS feed that sends the user the latest titles on the website. If you haven’t logged into Feedly for a while, it’ll pull all of the latest titles from Metafilter and display them in the reader. From there, you click on the links that you want to read at that moment.
The only potential drawback to Feedly is the fact that websites aren’t always keeping their RSS feeds operational. It’s an older style of reading news, and some sites don’t want to support it anymore. The other minor drawback with RSS is when websites change addresses for the feed and don’t update their users. Feedly might need more maintenance than other apps due to these issues.
The New York Times
The New York Times is another newspaper that offers a well-designed app. It’s easy to use and has a clean appearance. It also lets you customize the information you want to see along with having a front page to scroll through. Set the app up for the latest sports updates or breaking news. The strongest selling point to getting the New York Times app is the fact that the newspaper engages in strong journalism practices. That is, it won’t send an article to print unless it’s been completely vetted.
A subscription is required in order to access more than 10 articles a month. But if keeping up with news and quality journalism is important to you, the subscription fee is worthwhile. There is a subscription that allows for access across all digital devices as well.
These four apps let you look at the news with the least amount of hassle. You get to see what you want, not what someone else thinks you need to read. It’s freedom to read whatever you like at its finest.