Posted by Kat Armstrong.
You’ll find a lot of news apps for your iPad, but there’s virtually nothing available for Android, the iPhone, a RIM Playbook, Windows Phone 7 devices or even your desktop. News360 is changing the game. The application makes use of semantic analysis to keep you informed of major ongoing events – and to give you content that is relevant to you.
The company’s CEO took the time to talk to me about the reasons their offering is something that you’re going to want. This app is in a very crowded space. They’re not only having to compete with things such as Flipboard. News360 also has to watch out for stand-alone apps such as the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal. What makes this particular product stand out above the crowd?
It was interesting to me to learn how different the users are based on their platform of choice. For instance, the iOS version of the app has more than 2500 very positive reviews on the App Store. This may be great for ego pumping, but these people didn’t give any real criticism or feedback. The iOS device consumers have been happy with the application, yes… but they haven’t let the company know what’s missing. What more are they looking for? What else could they need? Alternatively, the Android userbase has been much more vocal. More than 100 people have written in to discuss what they feel the app may be missing in terms of features and functionality. My theory (and this has definitely not been proven scientifically!) is that the people attracted to Android devices are often geekier in nature and more of the early-adopter crowd. Another issue is that there are SO many apps out there for my iOS device that I cannot pay attention to any one of them for long – there’s just too much demanding my time. With Android devices, I tend to become consumed by a really well-done application because there simply aren’t that many. News360 is one of those which can completely hold my attention.
There are several cool features built in to News360. Saving and sharing are simple matters using one-click buttons and menus. The cool factor begins to show when you need to learn more. You can tap on highlighted terms within article text to learn more about a company, person or location. This is the part that sucks me in… I’ll be reading a great article about some hot new company and need to find out more about the movers and shakers behind the scenes. I’ll be off in my own little world for untold amounts of time as I click around to read up on who’s who, what’s where and why things are working the way they are.
You’ll need only one tap of a button to get to your local news. The app uses your GPS or WiFi connection to pinpoint where you are. You can also set a custom location by turning off this function. This allows you to follow the news at home when you’re traveling without having to search for a link to the tv station back home.
Having a list of top categories to search is a great idea, yes. Even better is the ability News360 gives you to create your own. The semantic analysis engine can (with your permission) check out your Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader and Everlook accounts to understand what your area of interests are. This allows the app to bring you stories which will be the most important to you. You can skip the social media stuff and set up your personal feed choices manually if that is more to your liking.
Which news app do you rely on each day to consume content? What about that offering keeps you coming back?