All the news that is fit for your smartphone or tablet

Nov 23, 2011
Tech

News media consumption patters are evolving, and the most discriminating information junkies expect to dial into their favorite stories from any place, at any time, on any device. Increasingly, daily newspapers are releasing official apps for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices. Many papers are also creating mobile versions of their websites that suit smaller […]

News media consumption patters are evolving, and the most discriminating information junkies expect to dial into their favorite stories from any place, at any time, on any device. Increasingly, daily newspapers are releasing official apps for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices. Many papers are also creating mobile versions of their websites that suit smaller screens on virtually any mobile platform.

So, beyond mobile offerings from your favorite publications, what are the best apps to find and curate the news that matters most to you? Try downloading these first.

News360 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

Out of the hundreds of viable apps that aggregate news feeds from around the world, News360 deserves front page placement. The app pulls stories from more than 5,000 participating publications, and allows users to personalize the information that eventually reaches them on their devices (or via the web at news360.com). The state-of-the-art semantic analysis technology found within News360 enables users to delve deeper within stories and access background information about the people, organizations and issues that comprise the news. Users can also choose news suited to their own geographic or ideological vantage points. Looking for the serendipity found in picking up a broadsheet paper and stumbling upon a story that didn’t meet your specified interests? Fear not. The app’s “360 view” feature helps you uncover articles off-the-beaten-path. The customization for News360 is on the inside and out. Separate versions of the app and service are available for iPhones/iPod Touches, iPads, Android smartphones, Android tablets, Windows Phone 7 devices and the BlackBerry Playbook tablet in addition to the web.

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Instapaper (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: $4.99)

See a news story on the web at the office that you would like to read while on your bus or train commute home? Virtually clip it and save the story to read later with Instapaper. Instapaper makes it extremely easy to save stories you find online and within many apps for offline reading. Further, the app removes full-size web layouts to make reading a breeze on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Note, while there are many unofficial Instapaper clients available for Android devices, they are not worth the download price or screen space.

Pulse News (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

Like News360, Pulse lets users curate their own information feeds for the most relevant stories. While accessible to larger-screened tablet devices, Pulse shines — and beats News360 — in how it is accessed on the small screen. The beautifully-designed mosaic format and Instapaper integration make Pulse the best news aggregrator for smartphones (and a top-tier option for tablets as well).

Zinio (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

Magazines are making their way to mobile devices with Zinio. Since the iPad debuted nearly two years ago, publishers are creating new and interactive ways to reach their audiences via tablets. Breeze through scores of publications like Esquire, Elle or Rolling Stone with this free app. Note that each publication should be purchased separately within the app, but annual magazine subscriptions with Zinio are all less than $10.

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Flipboard (iPad: Free)

You may know of Flipboard as one of the top social networking apps available for the iPad (and, currently, no place else), but it is also a must-have app for any news hound with access to Apple’s iconic device. The genius of Flipboard is its ability to capture news stories and other information and images shared with you by your Facebook friends and those who you follow on Twitter. The app also includes a growing roster of top-tier and niche publications that syndicate articles directly to Flipboard.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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