Newsbeat delivers news radio personalized to suit you


Having recently snapped up book recommendation tool BookLamp and made moves to acquire podcast recommender startup Swell, Apple clearly realizes the importance of good recommendation algorithms.

In that vein, it’s well worth checking out a similar app called Newsbeat, which launched under the umbrella of the Tribune Company earlier this year, and which recently received a notable update.

Somewhat similar to apps like NewsBrain and Umano, Newsbeat reads out breaking news, personalized to you. Sometimes this is done in a human prerecorded voice, and at other times a robotic voice similar to Siri’s. As the user, you set the topics that interest you, and Newsbeat will let you know of relevant updates like your own personal radio service — pulling content primarily from print media, but also drawing content from online sources.

It’s a neat app, and the kind of thing that would sit very nicely within a future iteration of Siri.

The late July refresh of the app added an enhanced UI, with easier browsing of new stories and topics, and the ability to select only stories narrated by real people.

Newsbeat can be downloaded for free from the App Store, available for all iOS devices running iOS 6.1 and later.

  • Newsbeat

    We have also enabled subway mode – so your news gets downloaded to your phone every morning automatically over Wifi.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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