Most news sources these days are free. Yes, there is plenty of regurgitation in newspapers, and on radio and TV news. News from online has even more variety, so let me start there. My recommendation to anyone who wants good news sources is to stay diverse and not get caught up in an echo chamber of misrepresented news. For iPhone and iPad, news sources are everywhere so choose your poison carefully.
The 12 Best News Apps for Keeping Up with the Best of the Web
For similar reasons I recommend Flipboard. There is a version Flipboard for Safari users on the Mac. What you get either way is quick and easy access to a variety of news, perspective, and sources.
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Take any website and quickly turn it into a magazine you can flip through:. Layers is a social media service that does a lot of things, but of particular interest to me is their Google Chrome app. With this tool you can add your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and view links in the same window:. This is a very cool way to get an overview of the articles your friends are talking about, and is particularly good at embedding video links.
Check out Layers for Google Chrome to see if you like it. Facebook is full of links, videos and photos. If you want a way to overview this content that looks more like a newspaper than a news feed, PostPost is your go-to tool:. The app also features a "Good News" section highlighting positive stories like finding lost loved ones, pets being rescued, and strangers generally doing nice things for each other to make the world a better place to live in.
Microsoft News also features a News Around You section where you can optionally share your location with the app or give it a specific city that you want to get a customized feed for. It effectively becomes the digital version of your local paper, pulling in stories published on the websites of local news channels and regional publications.
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You can not only get a consolidated feed from all of these sources but also can select specific sources from a menu at the top that you can slide left and right. Want content only from a broadcast network's regional affiliate? Or a business news site dedicated to the city? Those are options in this app. Google News used to have a dedicated section for local news, but the new version embeds those stories into the main feed.
However, we found them relatively unobtrusive during our testing, and none of them are animated. They also only appear in the articles themselves, rather than in the app's various feeds. The Nuzzel news app for Android and iOS leverages your personal social media network to populate a news feed with stories that your friends, family, and colleagues are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So while other apps might promise a "personalized" feed, Nuzzel is about as personal as it gets. If you prefer not to share your social networks with the app, you can still get some mileage out of it, though.
There's a curated feed of Top News featuring the headlines of the day, collected from high-quality sources like the Financial Times and the Columbia Journalism Review. Content is presented in a card-style feed, with a few sentences from the opening paragraph, the author's name, and a small thumbnail image from the story. Below the story blurb is where things get more interesting. There you'll find a row of user icons of people on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook who have shared the story on their social network.
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If you haven't connected the Nuzzel app to your network accounts, then these will just be a procession of strangers. But if you have, the people you've connected to on those networks will show up here if they shared that story. Plus, the app can automatically notify you when at least three friends or family members share a story, and you can set the threshold as high as To keep this notification from becoming distracting, you can limit this notification to once per day, or let it appear up to 25 times a day.
Or you can disable the notification altogether. Of course, the people you know on these networks may not be aware of the Nuzzel app, so they won't know that you have a systematic way to track all the articles they share, or the ability to observe the entire group's reading habits.
So while you gain an unusual way to synthesize the political and personal leanings of everyone you know, some users may find it voyeuristic. Still, the way that Nuzzel's system populates your feed allows you to see some content that would otherwise be outside the boundaries of a traditional personalized feed. So if you want to wander off your beaten path of news sites and publications, Nuzzel has an interesting way to do that. As a single news source, Reuters produces a relatively smaller amount of stories compared to the other news apps.
However, it's also a news wire with an army of journalists and editors dedicated to getting a story published very quickly. Therefore, the Reuters News app may dig up something interesting before you see it elsewhere, sometimes hours in advance. Of all the news apps we tested, this is the only one in the group whose ads were also sometimes animated, which you may find distracting. However, the Reuters News app does have one feature we haven't encountered elsewhere: When you reach the bottom of a story, the app shows you a list of related news categories, and tapping them automatically adds them to your feed.
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