Any iOS device is great when it comes to staying on top of the latest news. There are numerous ways to catch up on stories you missed, to read freshly published ones, or to find specifically tailored news directly catered to you. This can be all done thanks to 3rd party developers who are working hard on coming up with innovative ways we can use our iOS applications. In this article we’ll take a look at one of the freshly released news apps, named Newsbeat.
Newsbeat comes from Tribune Digital Ventures, and it’s completely free to download and use. This application is designed to provide you with news that you really care about, but instead of reading articles you’ll get to hear them. Continue reading to see how this app works, and if it’s worth downloading it to your iOS device.
The first thing I noticed about Newsbeat is how nicely designed it is. This app brings flat design graphic elements and very light typography. There are a lot of soft gradients and transparency, which all creates very fluid movement throughout the app. What’s also important is how well organized it is, and I can say that Newsbeat is very intuitive and easy to set up, so it’s clear that designers aimed to simplify this app as much as possible.
The first thing you’ll probably need to do once you open Newsbeat on your iPhone is to set it up. Luckily, you don’t need to create a new account which is something that I always like to see. Still, there are several ways to personalize this app. You can enter your name, home and work locations. This way you’ll get to see some local news. My Topics section is there to enter specific topics that you care about the most, and you can add as many as you want. Simply type in a keyword and you can choose the one that you’d like to add. My Sections is where you can fine-tune how interested you are in politics, entertainment, TV, technology, local news, and similar. You’ll get to pick from three levels which indicate that you’re not interested or very interested in a specific topic. And finally, you can choose publications that you care about, and this is from where Newsbeat will pull all the news. After you’ve set up these categories, this app should cater news that are tailored to your interests, and it seems that this is working very well.
Once you’re taken to the main view, you’ll get to flick through the articles and if you press “play” you’ll get to hear the chosen one. This will give you a digest of each story, instead of reading it word by word. You’ll also get freshly updated weather and traffic reports, which is great if you’re using this app while commuting. What’s also interesting to note is that a prerecorded human voice will read the news, but you’ll be able to hear computer-like voice occasionally. In general, I was surprised to see that this whole system worked incredibly well, and that this seems like a next step in a highly personalized internet radio.
Newsbeat is free to download and use, so I recommend at least trying it out.
PROS: Very innovative and highly interesting to use. High level of personalization. Free of charge.
CONS: A few annoying bugs and glitches.