Nowadays, the majority of us have moved away from the traditional newspaper and started using the internet to get updated on the latest happenings in politics, business, entertainment and other fields. Our current generation would rather read an electronic copy than the paper, but a phone’s screen is too small, therefore anyone who has a tablet prefers using that for their daily dose of news.
In this roundup, I’ll cover my favorite news apps which are optimized for Android tablets. These are distributed into five different topics: General News, Regional News, Tech, Lifestyle, and News Aggregators.
The Times is one of the biggest newspapers in the world. Known for its class and prestige you would expect an app of similar quality. And that’s just what you get. The Times Tablet Edition is a smart and sleek application which allows you to quickly and easily navigate through every story. One thing which could be an improvement is an ability to play the daily Sudoku or crossword, however, apart from that, it’s a fantastic application.
The Wall Street Journal is basically the American version of The Times and this is shown significantly in the app. Both of them appear very similar, reflecting an elegant design. However, the WSJ’s app experiences some buggy glitches and very slow download speeds. The developer has mastered the design but is still yet to produce the best app possible.
The Chronicle Herald is again a very well established newspaper which has decided to adapt for the tablet too. Personally, I really liked this application, it wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as others, but, it was solid – always running fast and never faulting over the testing period. The app has some nice extra features like offline reading and delivers the news readily.
The Economist, as the name suggests, is a newspaper which revolves around business and international affairs. Without subscribing, you have the ability to read six articles from the weekly edition and the editor’s highlights. By subscribing you can read the whole newspaper plus a range of other features, like listening to articles and offline access. It’s a great looking app with an exciting user interface, but it’s only really valuable for regular subscribers.
If you’re looking for your daily dose of politics, Politico is the magazine for you. Covering the whole world with instant access to the most important events in the world, Politico really offers the whole package for any avid politics follower. It even offers an excellent option to notify you immediately on breaking news.
Admittedly, BBC News is one of my favorite apps. Maybe just because I’m British and it was one of the first I downloaded, but I really like it. Its simple approach and easy navigation options give a great user experience. The text is also prominently clearer than other apps and it doesn’t take any longer than a few seconds to quickly adjust the size. The BBC has definitely done this proud and created a brilliant news app.
The Huffington Post was my favorite newspaper website long before downloading the application. This made me a bit apprehensive about trying the app, as I didn’t want that image tainted. However, this wasn’t the case. The tablet app is truly spectacular and is a work of art in itself. This is a fast, despite being crowded, application which can instantly direct you to any section. Personally, I’m normally annoyed by overcrowding on apps, but, the developers have embraced and mastered that here to make everything flow perfectly and I love it.
Once again, we come to another well established newspaper, The Financial Times. Similar to The Economist, without subscription you can only view eight articles per week. Again, I would recommend subscribing if you’d like more content to read. To this day I’ve never experienced any upsets with this app and it always seems to run to a high standard. Every article is well presented and a joy to read on a delightful UI.
SkyGrid is probably the most free flowing and customisable news app on the Google Play Store. Opening up the application for the first time, you’re asked to choose all of your interests then you’re ready to go. The app will create a mosaic-like design which is colorful, vibrant and filled with hundreds of recent articles. This great design in my opinion is SkyGrids main selling point and why you should be downloading this.
CNN is one of the most widely known news networks in the entire world so a great app is kind of a requirement here. Luckily, the tablet app doesn’t disappoint. It is really superb. CNN has gone with a colour scheme which looks really good against the white text and makes for a very sophisticated interface. Easy scrolling options and fast download speeds are some of the highlights.
For the Sunday paper you can’t go far wrong by reading The Sunday Times. This highly detailed newspaper with some of the best stories is always a fantastic read. The same can be said for the app too. The first thing you’ll notice is that the interface is set out like the newspaper. This is a nice touch which really enhances the mobile reading experience. However, it still lacks the ability to change to portrait mode, which I hope is added in the future.
WBNG, like Skygrid News, has gone with my favorite display design – the mosaic. It shows all the articles on the front screen in this organized and quickly accessible way. One desirable feature is that it shows the weather in the bottom corner. I really like this option because I don’t have to go searching for it, it’s all ready to view.
If you’re looking for a news app which is specifically for the USA, this is probably the best option. Covering everything happening in the fifty one states, USA Today is a great way to find out the small and big news. With live weather updates and the latest sports scores, this app has everything to satisfy your american needs.
Malaysia News is a basic app which covers all the recent news in Malaysia. Being very specific, this app isn’t going to appeal to a vast number of people reading, but, I feel it’s still worth a mention. The biggest letdown is that it offers a very bland colour scheme which isn’t the most beautiful to look at.
As you can probably guess from the similarities in the logo, this app is the equivalent of the last in Thailand. It offers the same design structure and navigational features. If you’re from Thailand then this is definitely worth a download.
Sky News is a worldwide recognised company, and this app is the division which covers the Arabic region. The app’s design and color schemes highly resemble the Sky design. One feature I love is that you can view a world map and then click certain countries individually, giving you access to relevant videos and top articles.
The Age App is specific to Australia, and one of the biggest news companies down there. I really love the design of the app, its bright and breezy nature allows for exciting and pleasing reading. It also contains a variety of additional features, including playing Sudoku – an ability which other newspapers had lacked. There’s one problem with this app though and that it’s optimized for only three tablets so far, which means I’m not getting the whole experience on my Nexus 7.
Again, we have a nearly identical app to the last. The SMH app seems to be the equivalent of a Sunday version for The Age. This may be annoying for some users, having to download two separate applications, although, I do feel that it’s much better this way. You can easily differentiate the news from the other articles and read whichever you’re actually interested in.
This is the second Arab-based app here and it is far superior to the Sky equivalent. Arab News’ basic structure plays to its purpose and creates a nice balance of colour in the process. The green outline really stands out and makes everything look sleek. The app also produces very high quality pictures and articles, much better than others on this list.
NDTV is India’s biggest network which means it’s quite important to have their app optimized for tablets. What I love about this app is that you can watch, free of charge, all of NDTV channels – a quick and easy way to catch the news. NDTC also has the daily brain challenge of a Sudoku.
This is probably the most country-specific news app I’m mentioning as it’s in the French language unlike all the others which are in English. Metro France doesn’t make any pretense about being targeted to anyone but the French citizen. It is clean and easy to use, with a scrolling tab along the left side that makes it easy to jump to your areas of interest.
New Straits is Malaysia’s oldest newspaper and the app gives you access to various sections of the daily newspaper. Although the articles you can read are always high quality and interesting, there isn’t much choice in news categories unfortunately. The app also has a daily gallery – a great way to quickly see everything going on.
TechCrunch is basically your daily dose of technology news rolled into one easy to use package. With news from every branch of technology, TechCrunch really covers it all. The main reason I use this application is because of the “Trending” bar along the right hand side where I can quickly see the most interesting tech news and find out more about them. The app also has sharing features for quick linking to your Twitter account.
GameQ is an interesting application which covers all the news from GameFly – a website/app where you can rent and buy games for all platforms. GameQ is set up in an interesting way. The original UI is very free and open, not bombarding you with countless articles in one page. Personally, I really like this approach as it feels very relaxed.
Price: Free Requires: Android 3.0 or above Google Play Link:GameQ Developer:GameFly
I should begin by saying that this is my all time favorite app because of its design and content. T3 is a very detailed and informative British technology magazine. I love the way this app is set up, allowing you to navigate through high quality articles easily and comfortably. T3 is really a must-have for any tech fan.
Engadget Distro is the weekly version of articles from the Engadget website. Because of the app’s black colour scheme this magazine looks smart and fashionable. I love that it is designed like an eBook’s page where you can see the articles in book form and then select to view certain ones. This gives the app a nicely refreshing and completely new look.
While Distro is the weekly version of Engadget, this is the daily version of the app. Surprisingly, both apps appear completely different, with Engadget set more like a newspaper. My favorite part of Engadget is the scrolling tab on the left-hand side that allows you to choose which part of technology you would like to explore.
Price: Free Requires: Android 2.1 or above Google Play Link:Engadget Developer:AOL Inc.
CHIC is a woman’s magazine covering everything from fashion to relationships. This is the only specific female app I’ve come across that I would highly recommend it. I couldn’t say that the content was entertaining to me, but the app certainly has everything to appeal to a female readership.
If you love to read men’s magazines, Loaded is probably going to be your best choice on Android. The app works well and is available on either one month or yearly subscriptions. It has recently been optimized for the Nexus 7 too and offers faster download speeds than before.
Time for a bit of sport with the New York Post. Mainly revolving around the topic of sports, in this newspaper you’ll always get your daily dose of the competition world. I love that the app is quite authentic and actually looks like a proper newspaper. From the text to the titles, everything appears almost real and enhances the experience.
Bayer is a truly scientific magazine which explores interesting health and nutrition topics in the world. Their stories are always fascinating and make for a thrilling read. Bayer is definitely recommended to anyone studying or working with science. For instance, I’ve been using this app to do further reading around my science studies and found it to be a great help.
FS is a magazine aimed at gay men that talks about interesting topics for the homosexual man. Although it adopts a less serious tone than most news outlets, it still offers a lot of lifestyle advice, health tips, and general well-being guidance and recommendations, all with an encouraging and understanding approach.
Love or hate them, we all link to find out what’s going on in our favorite celebrities lives. However, it’s often hard to find out all the gossip in one place. That’s where Celebrity Wire comes into play, providing breaking news and daily videos so you’ll never miss a scoop again. The best thing of all is that it’s totally free.
Following the current trends is a must for some people, but, if you don’t have the opportunity to visit fashion shows often, it becomes hard to keep on top of every new trend. Trendstop will give you the latest happenings in the world of fashion as well as advice on how to wear your clothes with style. It’s a great app for the budding fashionista.
I’ve tired out many different news aggregators and by far News360 has been the most fun and entertaining. Just from the homescreen, you can tell you’re in for a treat. News360 gathers all of your desired news and puts them all into one easy to read format. The app works by using an AI algorithm that records what you prefer then tailors your articles accordingly. News360 can also ask for your permission to access your Twitter and Facebook feeds in order to help customize your articles even more.
Drudge Reader feels like a simpler version of News360. With a plain white background and a very basic design, you’re not going to get a fantastic user interface here. However, apart from that, Drudge Reader still gives you relevant and informative news from all over the world. All in all, if you don’t care about how the news is presented to you, but still want it all in the same place, this is the app for you.
Google Currents is a fantastic application which actually came as standard with my Nexus 7, and I’ve used it everyday since. It allows you to add as many newspapers as you want in an easy to read format. I love how simple this application is and how you can just click on a newspaper then be instantly taken to all their recent headlines. The interface is white, which is normally not my favorite, but, unlike others, Currents have seemed to pull it off.
Taptu is one of favorite aggregators because of its fun approach and the ability to quickly sort out all your news. The DJ reference in the app’s name doesn’t refer to adding music, but to mixing and editing your news in order to fit with a specific arrangement. This app has high functionality and the interface is smooth and pleasing.
One of the biggest Android mobile news apps, News Republic, now has a tablet version and its definitely just as good as the phone version. News Republic also opts for the mosaic-like design to help differentiate between the categories. With thousands of articles updated every day and an inviting UI, it’s definitely a must-have.
Zinio is probably the most high-class apps in this section by providing access to a myriad of popular magazines. However, all of these need subscriptions that can either be paid for individually or for longer periods of time. Zinio is one of the most graphic apps I’ve found and that is a key quality for me. All in all, Zinio succeeds in achieving its concept very well.
Price: Free Requires: Android 2.2 or above Google Play Link:Zinio Developer:Zinio LLC
As evident through this collection, we’re now seeing a rising number of news applications dedicated for Android tablets. The form factor certainly lends itself well for longer and more involved reading, a trend observed and made popular by the iPad. And whether it’s morning reading, or couch surfing in the late afternoon, this collection of apps should have something to fit with any of your reading preferences.
If you use your Android tablet for news reading and found other applications tailored for it, please leave a comment.