Software

Five mobile news readers for tracking the info you need

When you're on the go, you need a convenient way to stay on top of important news and information. These newsfeed apps can help.

The world of IT and business has us going nonstop at a breakneck speed, so we need to be able to get our news on the run. One of the handiest ways to get that news is by subscribing to a newsfeed (or 12). You can easily keep tabs on technology, world events, finance, politics, and much more (from multiple sources) in a single app.

As you might expect, tons of news-centric apps are available, making it tough to narrow the field to the best ones. Let's see what mobile apps top the charts for feeding you the news you need.

Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.

1: HTC Blinkfeed

HTC Blinkfeed (Figure A) is part of the HTC home screen (and not an installable app). It's often forgotten, as it lives as a sidebar on the HTC One smartphone line. If you own an HTC One device, you have at your fingertips one of the easiest-to-use newsfeed apps available. You can add newsfeeds (from multiple sources), social feeds, custom topics, services (calendars, LinkedIn, TV, recommendations, etc.), and much more. Best of all, Blinkfeed is always just a swipe away. From your HTC Sense home screen, simply swipe to the right to reveal Blinkfeed and scan through your feed. Find something you want to read and tap it to open the full content (most read within Blinkfeed's own viewer).

Figure A (02)

2: Feedly

Feedly (Figure B) allows you to categorize content to keep your news better organized. As you add content, Feedly creates collections from the search string you used. You can also create your own collections, filter content, view all content, and change the layout of how content is displayed. When you tap a story to view, it will automatically open in the built-in Feedly reader. You can open a story in a web browser, save it to Evernote, share it to a social feed, email it, and more. Feedly is available for Android and IOS and is free.

Figure B

3: Play Newstand

Play Newstand (Figure C) is Google's own newsfeed app. It lets you view a number of topics (news, business, entertainment, sports, technology, and more), add your own topics (even from the Google Play Store, such as full HD magazines), create bookmarks (for later viewing), build a library of news, and view your feed in standard or mini card view (to get more news on the screen). Articles on the Play Newstand offer text, audio, and video, depending upon the piece. You can also save articles for offline reading, open articles in a browser, and share articles via the Android built-in sharing system. Play Newstand is free and is available on Android. It's rumored to be coming to IOS in late 2014.

Figure C

4: Flipboard

Flipboard (Figure D) offers a stunning interface that makes finding and reading news simple. With Flipboard you build magazines that hold content of your choosing. By tapping the red ribbon on the main screen, you gain instant access to your magazines as well as content you follow. You can also specify a layout density on a per-topic basis. By default, all content is laid out in a Smart density. If you want more content per page, select a High density; for less content per page, select Low density. Flipboard has my vote for the best interface of any news reader app. If only you could add custom RSS feeds, this would easily be the best in breed. If you don't need RSS feeds in your news, Flipboard will easily satisfy your on-the-go news needs. Flipboard is free and available for both Android and IOS.

Figure D

5: Digg

Digg (Figure E) is still one of the largest news aggregators on the web. The Digg app offers a straightforward interface that gives you instant access to the Digg feed. You can search for content and add feeds (by searching or adding URLs). To save a feed, you must allow Digg to sign into a Google, Facebook, or Twitter account. (NOTE: Digg has trouble with Google accounts that have two-step authentication enabled.) Although the Digg news reader doesn't offer the bells and whistles the other entries enjoy, this app is ideal for anyone who wants a news reader that's simple and easy to navigate. Digg is free and available for both Android and IOS.

Figure E

Your picks

If you're looking for a solid mobile news reader, these free mobile apps should do the trick. More than likely, one or two will come out on top of your list as "must have" apps to keep you informed.

Is keeping up with the latest news crucial to you? Have you found the ideal app for getting the news you need to your smartphone or tablet screen? What app has you shouting "Read all about it!"?

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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