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News apps and social magazines

Wow! I am really bowled over by the news reading experience on my Nexus 7. It’s a gift from my son and an absolute delight. Of course, I downloaded e-books to read as well, but the news apps and social magazines have put me on cloud nine. Could news articles look this good? No wonder printed newspapers are having a hard time. They could never replicate the beauty of Flipboard.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Ah, Flipboard! It can make any story look as beautiful as Vanity Fair magazine. The typeface, the background, the pictures – everything is elegant and beautiful. Whether you are reading a Reuters news report or a TechCrunch blog post, the content looks as elegant as what you see in Vanity Fair or the National Geographic magazine. Even my blog looks good on Flipboard – at least to me.  Yes, you can read any website on Flipboard – provided you can type in the RSS feed address.

You can integrate Google Reader with Flipboard, which makes the content look more beautiful. You can add news sources and other content from Flipboard too. Just scroll through the various Categories – News, Business, Tech & Science, etc – or type in what you are looking for in the search bar. You can also add your Twitter and Facebook accounts to Flipboard, which calls itself a social magazine. It’s certainly a news aggregator that looks like a beautiful magazine.

Currents is the Google counterpart of Flipboard, delivering content with the same classy look. It renders pictures and text with the elegance of a well-produced magazine.

Currents

Currents

Currents also integrates with Google Reader  — and can make any website look beautiful. Even my blog looked better on Currents. Adding websites and blogs to Currents is easy – check the various categories or use the search box.

Pulse News

Pulse News

Pulse News is another popular news app. It was praised by none other than Steve Jobs, according to Wikipedia. It also integrates with Google Reader.  You can select your own content and add what Pulse News calls “curated packs” – News, Technology, Business, Lifestyle, etc – to read on the app.  The Social category includes what Pulse News describes as the most popular content from YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Readability and a few other sites. Like Flipboard, Pulse News also integrates with Twitter and Flickr.

Taptu is similar to Pulse News and good too.  You can add blogs and websites and what Taptu calls “DJ” the content – “merge and remove streams” – by which it means combine or delete news feeds, just as you can on Google Reader. Really, all these news apps and social magazines are goodlooking varieties of the Reader.

News360

News360

News360 is an interesting app with two key differences from the others:

  1. It claims: As you read News360 is learning what sort of stories you prefer, and tailoring the newsfeed to be more relevant for you.
  2. When you read a story, you see links to related stories and pictures from other websites. In this respect, it is like Google News. It helps you dig deeper and get a more comprehensive account if you want.

Then there is Feedly, an aggregator based on Google Reader, which has also turned into an app. News junkies may also like News Republic, where you can create what it calls “homescreen topics” on almost anything – from a country to books, music, culture. Anything you type in the search box will return a relevant list, including the number of articles available on that topic.

I guess each news app or social magazine was created for a particular type of reader.

Personally, I like Flipboard and Currents.  News 360 helps you dig deeper into a subject by showing you related stories, but that takes up more time.

About the author: Abhijit Nag loves reading, writing and getting news and information online.