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Whether you’re reading a riveting novella, an insightful piece of long-form journalism, or the latest post from your favourite blogger, the written word has the ability to capture the imagination and make long, tedious journeys just slip away. In modern times, though, reading has become more than just words on a page or screen. A plethora of apps is available to make books more social, and news better suited to your interests.

To narrow down your options only to those that are worthy of a download, I’ve compiled a list of the most innovative social reading and news recommendation apps that the Play Store has to offer.

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The personalization of news is a nice idea. It should strip out unrequired stories, leaving behind only those pieces of writing that excite, educate or entertain — AppStorm posts, for instance.

But in my experience, most tailored news apps tend to be a bit…meh. They certainly filter, but rarely with the desired result. Some try to sort stories by keyword — always an inaccurate, spam-ridden approach — while others simply provide broad brushstroke subjects, gathering plenty of content you would otherwise avoid.

So, I’m interested to see how Material, an app which claims to deliver news that is tailored to each user, copes with this challenge. The product of an accomplished developer (Inq), Material has recently been updated with a sleek new design and a batch of new features; critically, though, can it deliver a great mix of content?

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As I’m sure most of you know by now, Google Reader is being shut down. With the service gone and our feeds exported — you did export them, right? — it’s time to find other ways to get our RSS Feeds and news fix. Or maybe you’re new to the RSS game and wondering about the best way to get started now that Google Reader is gone.

Well, fear not, we’re here to help you out. Our colleagues at Web.AppStorm published a fantastic article detailing five great online RSS services you ought to try but we’ve also compiled an exhaustive list of great RSS Readers and news solutions specifically available for your Android device. Whether you’re new to RSS or a seasoned veteran, this list should get some ideas generating and help you move on from Google Reader.

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Another week, another set of Android news. In the run up to Google I/O we’ve had a week fairly bare of news yet full of speculation. There’s been some new apparent developments in Google’s Wallet product, including the departure of Osama Bedier, the company’s Wallet Vice President, in addition to the delay of the retail Ouya, a number of app updates and more. Let’s dive in and take a look at This Week In Android! (more…)

It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

In Android 4.2 there were many new updates such as gesture typing and multiple users. These were the features which took the headlines as they were the most beneficial to Android users. However, one feature which was probably overlooked by the majority of us, including me at first, was Daydream.

Daydream is one additional aspect that users can customise in their Android device and there are apps which enhance it even more. Read on to find out what Daydream actually is and the best ways to use it!

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Over the last couple of years that I’ve had a smartphone, I’ve steadily moved my news reading routine from the desktop over to the phone. It wasn’t the best of experiences on the tiny screen of my old LG Optimus One, but the HD screen on the Galaxy Nexus does make it extremely good at scanning through a news article so I can decide whether to mark it to read later on a bigger screen.

The other big change in news consumption over the last couple of years has been the shift from traditional RSS readers to dedicated apps that do a much better job of collating and presenting updates. While Flipboard took its own sweet time to arrive on Android, a host of competing services – including one from Google – attempted to grab and lock in those users looking for a simple, elegant yet gorgeous way to consume their daily dose of content updates.

Having played around with a bunch of these apps, I’ll share my take on how they work out for me. I’ll avoid the usual RSS readers and Google Reader front-ends here, and go with the top three — in my opinion — dedicated news reading apps on Android at this moment: Flipboard, Google Currents & Pulse. Rather than talk about each app individually, I’ll discuss how they all fare on some of the most important features.

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Back when I had an iPad, one of my favorite features was an app called Flipboard, which displays your RSS feeds in a great-looking newspaper style. It’s a really beautiful app and one of the only ones I actually miss now that I am using the Galaxy Tab. A few days ago, Google Currents launched in the Android Market, claiming to be a fast, clean way to read publications on your tablet and phone. Curiosity (and hope) got to me and I downloaded the app. Let’s see what I found. (more…)

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