Dear Lifehacker, I’ve been a long time user of Google News because I love being able to swipe through each post and stop on the ones that interest me. However, ever since that UI update that made everything white, I’ve noticed it stopped syncing properly in the background. Like I literally have to keep the app in the foreground as it downloads or it won’t download all the posts properly. If I read Lifehacker on Google News while online, it now seems to load unnecessary menus (or something) that makes my phone lag. Do you have an alternative to suggest? Thanks, Whatta Scoop!
We check out a lot of apps at Lifehacker, and we’ve recently written pretty big roundups of the must-haves for Android and iOS. Still, there’s a lot out there, and that can make it difficult to find the best app for whatever it is you’re trying to do.
I don’t really use many news aggregator apps — well, none — but I just spent some time with Google News, and I didn’t find it very horrible at all. However, if you’re having an issue with it, that’s enough for me. You didn’t mention what smartphone platform you’re on, but if you’re using iOS, you could always switch to Apple’s default app for news and see how you like that. If you’re on Android, you’re probably stuck with Google News (or some lamer third-party news app) that has been preinstalled on your device.
As for alternatives, I have three main suggestions, and I invite Lifehacker readers to chime in below with some of theirs. Try installing Pocket, which will allow you to save articles from any mobile browser you’re using. That way, you can just browse Lifehacker (or whatever) on your browser and save articles to view later—in an interface that’s probably easier on the eyes than Google News. This isn’t a news aggregator app, more a “clip it to read it later” app, but it might help you out.
If you want an app that drops a bunch of potential articles front and center, you could always try Flipboard. You’ll get a big chunk of tiles to look at for websites or categories you care about, featuring the latest (or featured) stories you might want to read. Flipboard has a bit more graphical pizzazz than Google News, and it allows you to curate your own “magazine” of content—if you want to share your favourite articles with others or read them later at your convenience.
You can also give Feedly a try — similar concept to Flipboard, minus tiles and graphics. A number of Lifehacker editors think it’s a great content curation app, as it gives you both recommendations and allows you to customise your news feed as you see fit.
We know we aren’t supposed to let email run our lives, but we do it anyway. We use email as a to-do list, as an idea saver, as a place to email ourselves notes. And if that works for you, then here’s one more tool. The free Mailist extension for Chrome and Firefox collects your unread bookmarks and emails them back to you once a week.
Any other great news curation apps you particularly love, Lifehacker readers? Let our letter-writer know in the comments, and I’ll pass along your best suggestions!