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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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Digg had been stagnating over the past few years. The site’s previous owners weren’t investing the time or effort in updating the systems or design and users rapidly fled to Reddit and Twitter for their news fix. However, new Digg owners at Betaworks have launched a long waited for Digg app for Android.

The app, which brings the web’s news aggregator to smartphones goes head to head with several other RSS readers that promote popular news stories such as Feedly and Pulse. Initial impressions are good as the app mirrors the look and functionality of the Digg website. Set-up time is extremely fast as it pulls your preferences from your current Digg account. But has Digg done enough to entice users?

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Since the demise of Google Reader, RSS has seriously entered the spotlight. Some Reader clients have died away, whilst others have been upgraded, improved and have become immensely popular as a result. An app that has made it into the latter camp is Press, the first, and only, product of two-man development team, TwentyFiveSquares.

To accompany our review of the latest version of Press, I recently managed to quiz Jordan Beck, one of the co-founders of TwentyFiveSquares, on Press, RSS and future plans….

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I’m really addicted to RSS. I don’t know how to explain it without sounding like the biggest loser of all time, but the only real way to say it is to tell you that Google Reader’s death was almost a traumatic experience for me. I made the switch over to Feed Wrangler, a paid subscription service with a couple of unique ideas of its own, because I felt a paid service offered more long-term stability and I wouldn’t have to stress out ever again — although, admittedly, I consider trying out Feedbin on occasion to see what that’s like.

But even the best subscription service in the world fails if it doesn’t have an amazing app to go with it, especially since that’s what I was used to with Google Reader. Feed Wrangler got a lot of great support from developers straight out of the gate, including Press on Android. I think Press is one of the most sublime experiences you’ll find in Google Play, and it’s worth every penny. If you don’t have it yet, you need to read the rest of this review.

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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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One of the greatest things about having a handheld device that’s connected to the Internet is having limitless information at your finger tips. We can look up who that guy from the movie we just saw is, or exactly when the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” came out. We can also get the latest news from the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the NY Times, and more.

One thing that was lacking was the ability to get local news. Well, search no more: News Selection gives us access to local newspapers from all around the world. If the newspaper has a website it’s likely listed here. (more…)

I doubt there’s a single news organisation in the world that doesn’t receive criticism. It’s part and parcel of the industry; especially today, when everyone can voice opinions online. The butt of many jokes, including their own, is FOX for apparently being biased and sensationalist.

Al Jazeera is flamed quite often as well; some of it just, some of it not. The criticism of Al Jazeera often descends beyond the reasonable and into a ‘dey took ar jobs’ uproar simply because ‘real’ reporting can touch nerves. It’s this realistic reporting that keeps them in my daily news feeds.

As an Android user, their app was one of my most used, but least favoured. It was essentially a skin for their mobile site – and a very old, decrepit skin that should never have seen the light of day in the first place. Their new app however – well, they’ve turned the game around altogether. (more…)

The possibilities of getting news on your Android device are endless. Just head over to the Market, search for news and look at the number of options that come up (10,475 last time I checked…). But the question is, which one do you use?

Well, we’ve already had a good look at Feedly, a popular Google Reader based news reader for Android phones and we loved it. It allows you to browse easily browse news from a variety of different sources and it’s completely free. But now, there is a tablet version available for Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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my6sense uses a magic formula to serve up exactly what you want to read. They call this formula Digital Intuition and it makes finding cool content a snap. No more digging through RSS readers, search engines, or flipping from site to site; just fire up my6sense or glance at the my6sense home screen widget and it’s all right there.

Established in 2007 by CEO Avinoam Rubinstain, and Chairman/Visionary Geek Barak Hachamov, my6sense is a privately funded startup that aims to help you manage the ridiculous amount of information available via the web. Their innovative ‘Digital Intuition’ solution is the key to their success.

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RSS feed readers have long been a popular way to consume news and updates, whether it’s for it keeping up-to-date with the latest news, following up on our favorite blogs or stocking up on inspiration for web design, photography, and what have you. Sure, there’s Facebook and Twitter for recommendations from friends, and good old fashioned e-mail newsletters for targeted, critical updates. But nothing beats the flexibility of choosing precisely the websites you want to follow and keeping track of exactly what you have seen and what’s new.

Although there is no dearth of RSS readers on the web and desktop, I’ve struggled to find a good feed reading experience on the Android platform, especially for the phone. There are a couple of decent options, but FeedSquares feels too gimmicky and Pulse too cluttered for my small 3.2″ Optimus One screen. Of course, there’s the ubiquitous Google Reader, but its interface is rudimentary, to say the least. Feedly, a relatively new entrant to the arena, seems to have filled the gap in between very nicely. Let’s take a closer look.
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