We live in a digital age, where information is just a few clicks, or taps, away. There are computers, smartphones, tablets, capable e-readers and much more, and all these platforms offer internet access as well as dedicated applications which provide news from hundreds of sources. You can also get the latest information not only by reading it as an article on your favorite website, but also through RSS, podcast subscription, internet radio, and much more.
In general, news catering application on Mac App Store are quite successful. Especially those which offer something fresh, and some innovative way to deliver content. One of those applications is called Hourly News, and we’ll be reviewing it in today’s article.
Hourly News is made by Urban Apps, and you can use it on your Mac as well on iOS devices (separate purchases). This application delivers audio recordings of news, which are being pulled from numerous reliable sources like NPR, BBC, CBC, FOX, and many more.
Hourly News runs in the background, and it’s hidden in your menu bar. You’ll recognize it as a play/pause button, which opens up nicely designed drop-down window. This is the main interface of Hourly News, and as you can see from the screenshots, it’s minimalistic, monochrome, and I would say it’s beautifully designed. You’ll get all the information you need in a small window, where all its features are right there, one click away. The main focus is on the currently playing content, where you can see currently playing source, and at what time that particular recording was made. There’s also a progress bar, so you can move forward and rewind back if you want. You will be able to select several sources and put them in a particular order, so you can easily switch them, just like with Apple’s Cover Flow.
In the top left corner there’s a small icon which will take you to preferences. This is where you can adjust some basic settings like automatic play, but you can also select and reorder audio sources. Everything seems very intuitive and workflow is nice and fluid.
Just like many other users, I was annoyed by the introductory tutorial which is 10-steps long. Developers promised that they will address this issue. I was actually surprised how fluid and well-designed Hourly News is, and how annoying and off-putting its tutorial is. Of course, this isn’t a major letdown, and this will pop-up only once, after all. I would also like to mention that when you click on “Refresh” it will delete any previous recordings, and present you with the latest information without the ability to go back.
Hourly News is a very simple idea, but executed perfectly. In case you really like listening to the latest news, or in case you’re already streaming audio using some other application, Hourly News won’t let you down. Its interface is simply beautiful, and it will perfectly incorporate into your everyday computing.
You can purchase Hourly News through Mac App Store for $2.99.