Those times where news would hit us only through the idiot box or printed on bark of pine are gone. Today, time or location limitations have vanished thanks to mobile tech. Our smartphones and tablets keep us wired 24/7, fulfilling one of the our most basic needs: staying in the know.
To a greater or lesser extent, we all use our mobile devices to dig into news sources. Some just browse the mobile web, others prefer using specific apps. However, if you are a total news-junkie and need to be on the cutting-edge, you should demand only the best apps for that purpose.
Here are the 5 best apps to keep your finger on the pulse.
Unlike other news apps compilations you’ve probably read, we tried to avoid overlapping. Why on earth would you need to know about 5 apps that do exactly the same thing? These are simply the best apps of each kind. All of them play a different role in the news-grabbing process.
If you are a true digital news-junkie you probably have a rich list of RSS subscriptions which dates from the glorious times of Google Reader (R.I.P). Hands down, Feedly is the service which best took the reigns that Mountain View voluntarily dropped. In fact, Feedly has reimagined the service in such a way that made it a basement-dweller obsession no longer. It has brought RSS closer to the average user by offering an autonomous, cross-platform, well-designed and intuitive way to access news.
Subscribing to sources isn’t so tricky as it was with Google Reader. In Feedly, you only need to type the source’s name and add it. You won’t see a single code tag. Neat and polished.
You can also browse sources from the preset categories and customize the app’s appearance at your whim. The reading experience is smooth: use gestures to mark as read, bookmark, share and visit original website right from the app. The best feed reader app to date. Period.
Flipboard is a more appealing option for those who haven’t amassed RSS subscriptions for years or for those who are looking for a more social news reader. Of course, both Feedly and Flipboard might co-exist within the same device.
Flipboard is probably the most-known mobile news reader for both Android and iOS platforms. It has won users’ hearts due to an outstandingly well-designed interface and smooth performance. It features a magazine look that makes the reading experience unbeatable: clean, fast, and focused. You can also add your own RSS sources; however, if you have a great deal of them and want to clear them fast, you won’t find Flipboard as comfy as Feedly due to its flipping page effects and less customizable views.
You can also connect your social accounts with Flipboard. This killer feature turns Flipboard into a comprehensive news hub from which you can read news from preset Flipboard sources, RSS subscriptions and your own social timelines.
Pocket is one of those tools that sets a milestone in your life. You will soon start wondering how you managed to live your pre-Pocket life. Yes, guys, it’s that good.
The premise is as simple as powerful. How many times have you sent articles, memes, videos and other content to your e-mail in order to watch/read it later? I did that thousands of times… until I discovered Pocket. Formerly Read It Later, Pocket is a “bookmarking” content tool. You can push any link to your Pocket account and it will always be there, ready to be consumed whenever you feel like.
It provides a cross-platform (desktop, browser, mobile) accessible layout to all your bookmarked content. It even support browser extensions, which makes link-sharing even easier while you are surfing the web on your desktop computer. You can also send and receive content in a built-in inbox to/from Pocket friends. It’s fully customizable, and it’s already integrated with hundreds of applications. Simply the best of its kind.
What does it do? It pushes links, files, pics, notes and lists between devices. It may sound as something that you can already do with… Pocket, for example, but it’s not exactly the same.
Imagine you are surfing the web on your desktop PC and you find an interesting pic you’d love to share from your phone using your favorite messaging app. What would you do? You’d have to e-mail the picture to yourself or upload it to Dropbox (or similar) or save the link to Pocket and download it to your mobile device.
PushBullet beats that. If you need to share simple text notes, To-Do lists, pics, links or files between desktop and mobile devices (or between your tablet and your smartphone), push them with Pushbullet. A notification will show up immediately and you’ll be able to access the resource from any device (including a desktop Chrome browser using a extension).
LinkBubble is one of our latest discoveries. but it has come to stay.
Chris Lacy has reinvented mobile navigation with this simple yet disruptive app. As usual with wildly successful apps, the idea backing it is pretty simple: LinkBubble allows users to open and load links within apps in the background without leaving the app or interrupting its use.
Imagine, for example, Twitter. Tweets are full of links you constantly open. Thanks to LinkBubble, you can now open as many as you want in the Pro version (only one at a time in the Free version), leave them to load in the background, and open them in full when you feel like it by tapping on the floating bubble. A built-in browser will float also over the app to allow you to read the content. Tap again the bubble, hold it and swipe to throw it at a preset “Pocket” button, share it or delete (close) it.