With one of America’s most prominent television networks behind it, you’d expect the ABC News app to be well up to scratch with an array of up-to-date stories and video across several fields of interest. You’d be spot on too, since this is one of the most comprehensive news apps we’ve yet encountered on Android.
The requirements for making a great news app aren’t especially taxing and yet Life Of Android have still found ourselves testing several duds over the past 12 months. Most apps don’t slack on written content but a lot struggle to organise it in a way that’s user friendly.
At a push, the average smartphone can fit five headlines onto its screen in a vertical list. Any more and things start to get cluttered extremely quickly. Any fewer and you’ll struggle to get a taste of what’s on offer.
Like the excellent CNN News app, ABC circumvents this issue by including a rolling carousel of news subjects at the very top of your touchscreen. This makes for incredibly easy access to most areas of interest and then rolls into the longer lists of content once you know what you’re looking for.
Although aimed at a US audience, ABC News contains extensive coverage of international issues while its Entertainment and Technology content is relevant wherever you live in the world. The same can’t be said for Sport and Money articles but since this is a free download, beggars can’t be choosers.
Since 11 local news networks, including those from Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, feed into the app alongside the national ABC News channel, there’s an absolute wealth of video content to dig into. Everything from local weather updates to the recent Wikipedia blackout is covered with streaming achieved at an adequate although not outstanding quality.
Our only real with ABC News is that it struggles with loading times for its content. Whereas apps from The Guardian and BBC News load all their content upon startup, ABC News loads each story individually meaning you’ll see a load screen every time you want to access a new article.
We’re not going to be churlish though, this is a fine addition to any Android smartphone and you’d be a fool to think otherwise. Free news of a impeccable quality, what’s not to like?
The Bottom Line
An immensely well designed news app with oceans of video included.
Version reviewed 1.0.4
Requires Android 2.1 or higher