Keeping up with the news is important, but unless you’re rocking a news aggregation app, it can be hard to catch up on the most important news of the day without coming through multiple publications’ homepages. Luckily, Windows users can try out Microsoft’s new News Bar app for Windows 10, which continually updates with the latest headlines from major online publications.
The News Bar is still in beta, so it may have a few bugs here and there, but it worked well enough in the brief time I spent with it. Unfortunately, you can’t add or remove news sources from your feed or filter by keyword like you can on most news aggregation apps. You can add a company’s stock market abbreviation to keep tabs on its market behaviour, if that’s your thing, but I’m hoping more feed curation will be added in the future.
Also, the bar is … well, ugly, frankly. When the news bar is running, it will permanently take up a sliver of your screen’s real estate, meaning all other app windows will be squished slightly—unless you’re running a full-screen application like a video or a game. It’s not that obstructive (though I find the animated feed updates to be distracting), but it’s small enough that the header images are pixelated and grainy. Luckily, the bar can be minimized and there are some limited customisation options that let you tweak its position or colour.
Besides these minor nitpicks, Microsoft’s News bar works well, has a respectable variety of sources, and is a cinch to set up. Personally, I prefer to check the news at specific points throughout the day rather than skim the latest breaking headlines as they come in, but I can’t deny the convenience of simply glancing at the ticker to see what’s going on in the world.
How to install and customise the Windows News Bar app
Go to the News bar app’s Windows Store page.
Wait for the download and installation process to comple.
Click “Launch” in the store page, or open the Windows Start menu and look for “News Bar (beta)“ and click it to launch the app.
Hover over an image to read the headline and get a brief synopsis of the story. Clicking the image will open the article in Edge. The bar auto-refreshes with new stories as they come in, but you can press the “ or “>“ to scroll through the feed.
You can also press the “_” button to minimise the ticker. It still runs and updates in the background, however, so you can open it from its taskbar icon and browse new articles. You can also adjust the look and on-screen position of the News bar by clicking the gear-shaped icon. This will open the settings menu, which includes a menu for adding stock market tracking.