I’m not that fickle in the rest of my life, honest. When it comes to news reading apps on the iPad, however, I’ve had many loves. First came Flipboard, which grabbed my attention with its well-designed layouts of web links and images shared by people in my social network circles.
Then I found Trapit, which added both AI and editorial curation to my newsreader, though it is a bit lacking in the design department.
Now, there’s News360 for iPad, and I think I’ve fallen in love. Again.
First of all, I love the way this thing is set up. When you launch the app for the first time, you’ll be asked to add a social network to login to the service with. This isn’t done to pull content from. Instead, News360 uses your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ feed to find things of interest to you. Then, you’re asked to select several topics from a list of broad conceptual words, like Music, Art, and Technology. These become News360 categories. Let the app populate with news stories from its many online sources, and head to the Home page with a tap on the Home icon in the upper right. The more you read, the more the app will learn your interests and present stories and articles just for you.
The Home screen pulls the top stories from all of your category feeds, which are themselves personalized from your topics of interest and social feed. Swipe up on any of the squares to reveal it as a cube. On the side of the cube you’re flipping up, you’ll see the longer content of the article you swiped. Swipe again for all the different sources that are linked to the story. Want to see what CNN, Mashable, Engadget, and 326 other outlets had to say about a given story? You can do that here. Swipe a final time and you can star the story, give it a thumbs up, or share to Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
Each section, category or home has several pages to access with a swipe to the left or right. Tap on a story, and News360 will zoom in, giving you a summary paragraph on the left, the source website on the right, and – finally! – a simplified Reader view, like Safari has. Tap the familiar Reader button and you’ll get the web site story without all the advertising cruft, allowing you to delve deeper.
So far, I’m loving this app and the way it lays out the news I need to keep up to date on. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.