Filtering the noise: The best news apps to start 2015
There’s a memorable scene in How I Met Your Mother where the gang lament that smartphones have taken the mystery out of life. With all the world’s information available to you in your back pocket, there could never be a factual dispute which couldn’t be resolved inside 10 seconds.
Its certainly true that modern smartphones give you the capacity not only to search for relevant news and information, but have that information filtered to your interests and delivered automatically. News apps can send you push notification based on particular keywords or topics, and hyper-specialist news sources allow you to hone in on your specific interests. For example, within the last 24 hours I have received news that:
- North Korean activists are attempting to smuggle controversial film “The Interview” into their country
- An exciting new antibiotic has been discovered
- Britain’s Martin Adams has made the semi-final of the BDO World Darts Championship
So what are the best apps for presenting you with relevant news when you need it? Lets take a look at some of the contenders.
Flipboard is a beautifully designed news reader app which offers a lot of convenient features. All of its news sources are repackaged as “digital magazines” for mobile, preventing you from becoming stranded on non mobile sites. What’s more it allows you complete control over which news sources and topics are displayed, meaning you can refine its parameters to be as broad or narrow as you choose.
The app can even be set to accept content from social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as your favourite blogs.
Pause: Curated Music Stories
An app for audiophiles Pause collects reviews, features and audio samples published by other music magazines, and presents them in a “well-curated music periodical” updated every quarter. Although you won’t be getting push notifications every 5 minutes, Pause’s thoughtfully put together review has attracted a wide following.
Formed in 1846 by a consortium of New York newspapers, the Associated Press is one of the largest and most reputable press agencies in the world. Their tagline ‘Where the news gets its news’ is no exaggeration – AP reports are picked up by newspapers around the globe.
The AP app does a good job of displaying its reports conveniently, and has options to filter how news is displayed and on which topics. Interesting stories can be saved for later, and the app will automatically determine your location and deliver local news.
Although the AP app is nothing special in terms of functionality, its a must for hard news junkies. You’ll get responsibly reported, accurate news from reputable reporters and in a timely manner, for free; what more could you ask for?
An absolute must for men of the turf, Coral’s app allows you to keep track of thousands of events, and even stream live sport straight to your phone. The integrated streaming service offers 5,000 events from horse racing to football and also, topically, darts, whose World Championship is currently in full swing.
Bookmakers Coral are a British High Street institution, and have released the most comprehensive gaming app to date. Available on iOS, Android and Blackberry; the app gives you access to Coral’s full sportsbook of advance and in-play markets. You’ll even get push notifications of match events if you have a bet on.
Casino players are also catered to, as the app comes loaded with 50 of Coral’s most popular games, including table classics and slots.
At the moment the Coral app is miles ahead of the pack in terms of both ease of use and functionality. As an added incentive new mobile customers get a £20 free bet.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.