There are plenty of apps and services that just let you add your favourite blogs and keep up with their feeds, but what about apps that help you discover new and interesting news, things you wouldn't have found on your own? This week we're going to look at five apps that deliver a curated news experience, even if they include your own feeds.
The beauty of Feedly is that it's available for iOS and Android, as well as most major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Add it to your browser or mobile device and you have a gateway to the latest breaking news, some of the best blogs on the web and you can still add your own favourites, customise your news reading experience and add the sites that you read most often. You get an image and multimedia-rich reading experience in a minimalist interface that lets you focus on reading the news. When you're ready, you can share interesting topics with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. And it's completely free.
Google News and Google Reader are still probably the most popular news aggregation services on the web, when you consider them combined. Google Reader is a robust feed reader and allows you to add as many feeds as you like, organise them and read everything, selected topics or feeds, or just everything you missed since your last update. Its look could use an overhaul, but it works and it's free. Google News is similar: it just got a facelift, but it's a news service that aggregates thousands of blogs, newspapers, news organisations and online magazines around the web and delivers trending and interesting content to you almost instantaneously. More than a few people I know have it set as their browser's home page.
Fark has long survived as one of the web's most popular sites, and one of the web's most trusted sources for a wide variety of important, interesting and thoughtful topics... as well as offbeat and hilarious news that you won't find listed anywhere else on the web. Best of all, there are real people behind the service making sure that the best stories float to the top and the uninteresting ones disappear, still a different approach from the latest generation of social and crowd-curated news sites. If you're looking for an entertaining take on the news of the day, Fark and its community are the place to go.
Available for iOS (both iPhone and iPad) and Android, Pulse does the wrangling for you and sources the best news of the day that the service thinks you'll be interested to read. It then pushes that information through to you in an attractive, tiled interface that lets you quickly tap a story to read it or watch a video. You can still add your favourite topics and web sites, and you still have some control over what sources you read and what topics you read about, but if you want a single-glance at the day's top stories, Pulse does a great job of delivering it to you on the go.
News360 is available as a web app and for almost every mobile platform, including iOS (iPhone and iPad,) Android, Windows Phone 7 and the BlackBerry Playbook. The app is one of the first news applications that hooks into your social networks like Facebook and Twitter to learn more about you and the topics that interest you. It then uses that information to customise the news it delivers to you so you're never presented with a story that's uninteresting. The interface on all platforms is attractive and rich with images and video. News360 does an incredible job of anticipating what you'd like to read and then giving it to you.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Surprised your favourite isn't mentioned? Share your thoughts in the comments below.