Read all about it! If there’s one genre of app that continues to be massively popular in the Google Play Store, it is the humble news app. If you want to stay up to date with the latest news- whether it be national, international, technology, topical, sports or even celebrity gossip(!) there are dozens of apps out there to help you do so on your mobile Android device.
We thought it would be a rather cracking idea to round some of the better news apps for your perusal. This has been split up into 5 sections: Titles, this includes newspapers, TV stations and specialist news sources. Then there’s a section on dedicated Technology and Science news apps. Sports news is very important to a wide range of people so there’s a small section for apps that specialise in top sports news apps. There is also a section especially for news aggregators; hugely popular in the Google Play Store these are usually highly customisable apps that collate your favourite sources into one handy and readable format. Finally, if you have a sense of humour, I’m sure you’ll appreciate our small section on humour and news parody apps.
Read on then for a bumper collection of brilliant news apps, ready for you to download…
BBC News is a well known and respected British news source. The easy-to-navigate app features a nice UI and various options for reading and sharing. The app really only presents headline articles, rather than give you full access to their website, but you can access high quality video and audio content which is a great feature. Whereas this is the UK version, you can also get a Worldwide version here.
The hugely popular newspaper has a really handy Android app for reading on the go. It’s not a flawless app by any respects, it has recently received quite a few complaints regarding stability. However it remains a very straightforward application for concise news stories, pictures and articles. Not much depth, but great for catching the news in brief.
Channel 4 News is a respected and award winning news program in the UK. Never ones to duck big questions their stuff is generally hard-hitting and critical. The app features a really slick UI and updates regularly. You can also access journalist blogs and great catch-up video content.
How do you begin to describe Fox News? Let’s just say it’s something either someone either loves or hates. Opinions aside, it’s a pretty comprehensive app that updates regularly, including news headlines, video, radio and photo galleries. Whether you agree with their brand of ‘news’ or not, they can certainly make a good app.
Whereas in the US you have Fox News, in the UK you have Sky News. Sky News is a little less excitable but still very slick. The app reflects this well and is very user-friendly. Sky News also includes great video content and you can additionally get news alerts if you wish.
NPR is another significantly popular news source and a news radio streaming service is available through this neat app. Breaking many stories into bitesize chunks- great for getting a brief overview of issues- it’s ideal if you prefer news to listen to instead of reading.
The Guardian is another popular newspaper from the UK. Their app is extremely customisable and lets you ‘favourite’ certain sections and blogs of your favoured writers. Regularly updated and beautifully designed, its a good all-round app that provides a lot in the way of content; in depth stories, blogs, video, investigative blogs and live news feeds.
The Independent is the perfect app for reading offline. Over a WiFi connection you can easily download all the content you want and read it while out and about without incurring data charges. The app is very crisp and easy to use, featuring a broad range of topics and frequently refreshed blogs.
Bloomberg for Smartphone is the official app of the respected business-centric news channel. Focusing particuarly on economic, business and stock market news, the app even lets you follow stock and share prices in a simple and convenient way. An absolutle must for people who take their news seriously, and the app is well designed and user-friendly.
Reuters is another serious app for serious people. The award-winning source is always at the forefront of international news and places a lot of interest in business and economic news. Often producing some truly incredible investigative pieces, it’s very much a worldwide source which covers stories from every part of the globe.
Huffington Post for Android is a well designed app for reading news fast. It’s very slick and extremely user-friendly. You also get some great widgets for adding to your homescreen and the app lets you comment on the stories you read and share them with your friends and social networks.
ABC News is a leading news resource from the US and now all their current stories can be accessed in this elegant little app. Lots of focus on the US, there are plenty of participating local stations across the whole country. Another really well designed and intuitive app, it’s especially great for local news if you live in one of their focus areas. Check the Google Play Store for more details.
The Daily Mail is one of the biggest and most visited websites in the world. I’m personally not a fan of their content, they often tend to publish the most outrageously biased pieces for shock value and high hit-rates. The app however is well designed, and works well. If you like picture galleries of celebrity cellulite and like reading about barely scientific links between cancer and the things you enjoy (wine, chocolate, television etc), this is for you.
The Times is the institutionally British newspaper that is popular all around the world. The paper is owned by Rupert Murdoch- the media mogul determined to put all his digital content behind a pay wall, so while the app is free, you will have to subscribe after 30 days.
Another Murdoch title, The Sun is a blend of newspaper and comic, featuring pun-tastically alliterative headlines and lots of pictures. The newspaper itself is very popular in the UK but the app is a bit of a ugly monster, currently rating 2.3/5 in the Google Play Store. And, as it’s a Murdoch vehicle, you have to pay for it.
Al Jazeera is a popular and ground breaking news station that focuses on events in the Middle East. While this might not be everybody’s cup of tea, they have been great for monitoring recent uprisings in the area. The app is of good quality and you can get 24-hour access to the channel itself, read regularly updated articles, listen to audio and view picture galleries. I think people might be put off by it’s focus but they really shouldn’t, it might surprise you as to how good it is.
CNN is another premium and popular news channel from the US. Their app is nicely presented and features news, radio, video and picture galleries. The app also features a nice customisable widget for your homescreen. If you’re a fan of the channel this is a must.
The FT is a well-respected newspaper that focuses on the economy and business. The Android app is free to download but requires subscription if you want to use it on a regular basis. Suitable for both phones and tablets you can access news, video, blogs and columns.
Another respected and popular resource for financial information and rival to the Financial Times. The printed WSJ is the largest circulated newspaper in the US and is now available on Android. For what it is however, it’s quite expensive. The app is free but subscription is relatively hefty and on a monthly basis.
Technology & Science
Away from typical newspapers, TV stations and website, these apps focus on bringing you the latest tech and science stories to your Android device.
From it’s beginnings in 2005, Mashable has grown into one of the biggest and most highly respected technology and internet news sources in the world. The app is pretty good too and regularly updates. With a great deal of focus on social networking news, the Mashable app itself is very sociable, letting you share content with your friends easily.
Tech Buzz is a simple yet effective widget app that I’ve used for a couple of years now. Choose from: Tech News, Mobile News, Android, Gadgets, Gaming and Tech Videos for a great selection of stories from a variety of places. I set mine for Android stories and get the latest news right on my homescreen.
CNET News is a great app for following stories from the popular technology news website. This is based on the content from the US version of the site so not as quite obsessed with Apple products as the UK version. The app is very easy to use and you can access stories and video simply. I wish there were a few more customisation options within the app, but this aside, it’s very good.
PopSci is a brilliant website for discovering the very latest research, technology, gadgets and discoveries. The app is quite simple but presents these stories very well, even allowing for offline reading. Definitely check it out if you have interest in cutting-edge science stories.
The Endgadget app squeezes in one helluva lot of content. From picture galleries of cool gadgetry to news and rumour articles, video coverage and opinion pieces, it lets you share any articles you like with your social networks and is incredibly simple to use. You can even bookmark articles for offline reading.
Time to take a walk outside and get some fresh air and exercise in this little sports news section. There’s just three here, but they should pretty much cover your sporting needs…
This is Sky News’ dedicated sports news app and brings all the latest headlines from the popular television channel of the same name. As polished and as snappy as you can get, the app is very easy to use and full of content. It concentrates on primarily UK interest sports: football, cricket, tennis, Formula 1, boxing, rugby and golf.
The bigger American cousin of Skysports News is of course Fox Sports News, bringing you up-to-date content on US big sports; hockey, basketball, soccer, boxing, gold, tennis, baseball, American football and… of course…. NASCAR! For big, brash and bold sports you need a big, brash and bold news app, and Fox Sports News is just that. It’s simple to use, functional and updates throughout the day.
This is a great little app that I only discovered recently. It’s a part-news/part-community based app that not only gives you up to date stories and breaking articles and video, but also lets users comment and debate on a range of topics. The app covers all the biggest sports in the world and you will never find someone short of opinion in this highly interactive and beautifully produced app.
Often more popular than dedicated sources, news aggregators are superb ways to follow news based on a particular theme. Alternatively you can often bring multiple sources under-one-roof. There are apps that manually let you add the stories you want and ones which learn what you like and dislike, making for a very personalised experience. Usually placing a lot of emphasis on creating an enjoyable and consistent news reading experience, these are the apps for people who read a broad selection of news from all manner of sources.
Feedly is a coherent, beautifully designed and easy-to-use news reader that presents all your favourite sources in a slick and feature-rich UI. Receiving an average rating in the Google Play Store of 4.6 from over 13,000 users, it’s also massively popular.
Recently updated and renamed to include a gorgeous Ice Cream Sandwich inspired user interface, Pocket is perfect for reading your favourite content on-the-go. Simply add an extension to your web browser and add any web age you like to your Pocket account. The extension syncs with the app seamlessly and presents the article you want to read in an incredibly beautiful and easy-to-use format. Feature-rich and intuitive, the app is a must-have for news fans, period.
Google Currents is the news aggregator from Google that recently went international after being a US-only news service when it launched. The app looks fantastic and all you need to do is tell it which news sites you like. There are hundreds already included in the app and you can easily add your own in a slick and responsive user interface.
News360 covers all bases with a phone, tablet and Google TV version of their popular app. It configures itself based on your Google+, Twitter and Facebook preference meaning you’ve already done the hard work. It takes personalisation to a new level and has many dedicated users across different mobile platforms.
Pulse is another hugely popular app that would I might well receive death-threats for not including, such is the dedication of its user base. With a gorgeous UI, intuitive personalisation and a host of preferences and options, it’d not hard to see why. Pulse has been around for a surprisingly long time, yet still looks remarkable fresh and is regularly updated by its developers.
We end this section on an app that fittingly begins with the letter Z. Zite is a great news app that lets you pick themes which interest you the most. So, choose technology, politics, business news, sports or even create your own (the app searches for stories based on this keyword) and these are presented in horizontally scrolling columns of news collated just for you. It looks good and feels great to use. Popular on both iOS and Android, many readers might think I’ve left the best until last.
Sometimes it’s good to not take life too seriously. For all those with a sarcastic, sardonic and scathingly satirical sense of humour, here is a couple of apps for you.
Onion News mercilessly lampoons US politics, sport and news. The app features all the videos from the main website and includes a useful search feature to drag up much older video content. For me, Onion News is the perfect satire of overly-serious news stations who do not realise how ridiculous they often appear.
The Daily Mash is one of the UK’s best loved satire sites and their app gives user access to their latest and best content. Including a 10 year old agony aunt and the most ridiculous horoscopes you will ever read, it’s lots of fun and sure to give you a laugh. It’s a paid-for app, but still much-loved by it’s audience.
So there we have it. A whopping bumper round up of the very best news apps. Most are free, many come with a tablet version for reading on a larger screen and all are available from the Google Play Store. Obviously the list isn’t exhaustive, so have I missed out one of your favourites? Feel free to let us know in the comments below h