These apps have a nose for news
In our ever-changing hyper-connected world, it's become increasingly necessary to be up to date on the latest news, whether it's coming from around the corner or around the globe. And your smartphone can help you go beyond the headlines.
Once the domain of old-fashioned RSS style feed readers, the big tech giants are now muscling into the news field, highlighted by the launch of last year's Apple News Plus service, which offers a buffet of magazines, newspapers, and all-you-can read content for premium subscribers.
With Apple News Plus reportedly struggling to find subscribers, you may be on the lookout for a new source of news, whether it's personalized newsfeeds, quick TLDR-style highlights, topical deep dives, or global reach. Here are 10 of the best news reader apps available for Android and iOS devices.
Apple News (iOS: Free)
Apple's News app comes pre-installed on your iPhone or iPad, offering up a wealth of news stories from a variety of sources. Editor-curated feeds catch you up on the latest headlines and special interest pieces, while a personalized newsfeed allows you to select your favorite topics, with the feed learning and improving its choices based on your reading habits. Apple's looking to make News even more of a must-tap destination on your iPhone with News Plus, a $9.99 per month premium news subscription service that gives you access to more than 300 different magazines like Time, Sports Illustrated, and Wired, as well as premium articles from The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.
Google News (Android, iOS: Free)
It's no surprise that search giant Google is also in the news reader app game, with its Google News (Android, iOS) app leveraging the search giant's big data expertise in an attempt to bring the most relevant news, features, and local stories to your touch screen. Google News presents readers with a customized news briefing of the top five stories, updating throughout the day, based on global news, local content, and your interests, and newsfeed of other content. One feature we really like is the "Full Coverage" button below each headline card that brings up other views and articles focused on the same topic — an approach that delivers a broader view of the story. You can also subscribe to your favorite news sources, with options for premium subscriptions to magazines, newspapers and websites.
Microsoft News (Android, iOS: Free)
Not to be outdone, Microsoft also has tossed its own hat in the mobile news app game with the Microsoft News app (Android, iOS), offering a range of curated news selections as well as a personalized, topical news feed. Home Screen and Today Widgets put your news stories within easy reach, and a clean, clutter-free reader keeps things neat and distraction-free. Users can optimize the layout, select a dark theme, sync settings across their account, and save stories for offline reading. The app pulls stories from a wide variety of sources, from traditional news outfits, and newspapers, to entertainment magazines, websites, and new media sources.
AP News (Android, iOS: Free)
For an app with a more traditional approach, you can check out the Associated Press's mobile offering. AP News (Android, iOS) delivers stories from the Associated Press's network of local, national, and global news writers. Users can follow their favorite news topics as well as local AP-affiliated news sources, check out photo galleries, video and radio news, and receive customized news alerts based on personalized topics.
Reuters News (Android, iOS: Free)
Featuring content from more than 2,000 reporters in 180 countries, Reuters News (Android, iOS) provides a broad perspective for world news, as well the option to narrow down and build a more personalized news stream with your favorite topics. You can also find relevant stories based on your location. Users can catch up quickly with Editorial Highlights as well as follow the financials with their personal Market Watchlist. Reuters News also allows users to save articles for offline reading.
Quartz Brief (Android, iOS: Free)
Business news app Quartz Brief (Android, iOS) doesn't inundate you with voluminous long reads that will wind up in the land of "TL;DR." Instead, the app offers you bite-sized digests and summaries, almost in the form of text messages that you can react to, click through to more detailed writeups or original sources, or simply breeze past as you absorb their quick summaries. Quartz's notifications can come with photos, news digests, charts, GIFs, or even 3D augmented reality objects that you can play around with, making for short but high impact and interactive news digests.
inkl (Android, iOS: $15 per month)
Apple's News Plus service isn't the first app to offer an unlimited buffet of news content from premium sources and magazines. With a $15 monthly subscription to inkl (Android, iOS), you get access to content from a variety of sources such as the Washington Post, The Guardian, Straits Times, The Economist, and more. It all comes in an ad-free reader interface with tools to follow favored topics and filter news for relevance, with related stories for multiple perspectives as well as curated collections and Good News to lighten things up. An interesting feature is a prepaid subscription option in $10 increments, with readers billed 10 cents for each article read, allowing curious readers the chance to look things up without the commitment of a full subscription.
Feedly (Android, iOS: Free)
In many ways, Feedly (Android, iOS) has inherited the banner for traditional RSS reader-style apps, rocketing to popularity with the shuttering of the late, lamented Google Reader. Users can sign up to Feedly and then follow their favorite topics, websites, blogs, keywords, social media accounts, and more, with the app constantly supplying a stream of the latest from the topics that users follow and customizable list and reading views that suit their tastes. Best of all, since Feedly is built on RSS, you can even manually add your favorite feeds to the app if you can't find them within the expansive library of topics and keywords. While the app is free, a $7 monthly Feedly subscription unlocks features like more powerful article search, app integrations to quickly save content to a variety of services, automation and integration through the likes of IFTTT and Zapier.
Flipboard (Android, iOS: Free)
A news reader app that puts the priority on presentation, Flipboard (Android, iOS) is another old favorite, turning bland-looking web articles into slick presentations not out of place in some glossy magazine. Users can pick from a slew of topics, interests, and websites (or add their own), and the app builds a “Smart Magazine” devoted to those selections, feeding you a rich blend of articles from sources all across the web that have been personalized to your own tastes. You can then take your time reading through articles repackaged into media-centric reader views, or get the latest breaking news in your notification tray.
Pocket (Android, iOS: Free)
If you can't read it now, why not just read it later? That's the idea behind Pocket (Android, iOS), the app that lets you save interesting articles, links, news stories and other content for consuming later at your own convenience in a stripped-down, reader-friendly format. Once installed, Pocket integrates with the share sheets and buttons of many apps, email services and browsers, allowing you to quickly save interesting content for later. Your saved content syncs across devices, and users can configure the reader view; Pocket will even read to you if you want it. A premium subscription removes advertising, saves content to a Permanent Library, and includes advanced search and organization tools to help you sort through all of your stories and articles.