9 Great Websites and Apps to Keep Up With the News
Right at this moment, something big could be happening in your city that you need to be aware of. There could be life-changing incidents happening somewhere that you wouldn't want to miss. To keep up with all these, we sign up for hundreds of websites and services, and install multiple apps, only to end up confused and overwhelmed. There are hundreds of news services and thousands of RSS readers, and if we count the forums and blogs, then the count goes to millions. To make it easier for you, here are 9 websites that you should definitely try if you want to stay informed. To make it much easier for mobile users, all these 9 services have Android and iPhone apps.
Twitter gives you the latest news in simple short updates, written by common people. When Twitter was created, it was a simple micro-blogging website, and it asked you a simple question - "What are you doing?" Our answers were also simple. But all that is history. Twitter is asking the important questions now, "What's happening?", and that's what we give them. It's now the best place to get any recent news. And these are not the reported news from questionable sources. These little titbits of news come directly as updates, or tweets as Twitter likes to call them, by people as they are seeing it happen. Each tweet used to have a character limit of 140 characters, now increased to 280 characters, so there's no need to read huge walls of text. With the use of hashtags, we can get tweets on any topic. Use the trending page to see what's trending in your country, any other country, or the whole world.
Visit the site: www.twitter.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twitter.android
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/twitter/id333903271
Reddit has everything. Wikipedia calls it a 'social news aggregator' and 'discussion site'. While that is true, Reddit is so much more. The cute little alien has been around for a long while now. While Twitter may allow you to spread short news updates and commentaries, Reddit users (or Redditors, as they are usually referred to) just love to take a recent news or a topic and dig into it. The members can submit news, upvote or downvote submissions, and discuss everything. Redditors are known to be snarky, sarcastic, and sometimes just plain offensive. But once you get past all these thick layers of sarcasm, you get to see the real gem, and they have an entire treasure trove of interesting and unbelievable facts, and news that you would not want to miss. Recent news is not the only thing that gets discussed there. There is a community for every single thing (called a subreddit), where you can find news and discussions related to that. But beware, sometimes you go in expecting kicks and giggles, and come out with the answer to your existence.
Visit the site: www.reddit.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.reddit.frontpage
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/reddit-trending-news-tips/id1064216828
Google Play Newsstand
Google Play Newsstand is just what it calls itself. It’s a newsstand. You can subscribe to news sources, read the latest issues of magazines, follow your favourite topics, and download them all to read whenever you want. Google has two apps that seem very similar when it comes to reading news and articles, but are actually different. While they are not as different as Google actually claims them to be, they are different when it comes to how they work and what they offer. Google Play Newsstand is similar to RSS, where you get add your preferred news sources and topics, and just leave out the ones you don’t want. We will discuss the other one after this. In the homepage of your Google Play Newsstand, you’ll have the top news of the day, briefing, articles from featured topics, and also the local news. It also offers in-app translation of articles using Google Translate, and a ‘Read later’ option to save the articles for later. As for the sources of news and magazines, you can add or buy anything from the entire ‘Newsstand’ section of the Google Play Store. It also shows weather.
Visit the site: newsstand.google.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.magazines
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-play-newsstand/id459182288
Google News And Weather
This is the other Google news app that I mentioned previously. Google News and Weather came before the Newsstand and it’s still here. If you don’t really want to go through all the setup, topics and source selection, and categorizing seen in most other new apps, just to get your daily dose of decent news, then this is the one you want. It offers curated news from all the good sources, and categorizes them. It offers a headlines section and a local section. The main page of the headlines section shows you top stories, local news, world news, and recent news from all the categories, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to customize it at all. You can still follow topics, add or block news sources, and add new categories. In the local section, you can get news and weather based on your chosen pincode. The weather shown here is much more detailed than the one in Newsstand, so if you’re going to be using this, you won’t need another weather service. There is also a ‘For you’ section that shows you articles based on your interests. But it’s important to note that Google news doesn’t really offer an article view or any option to save them, it only acts like an intermediator offering you headlines and redirects you to the source webpage when you want to view them.
Visit the site: news.google.com
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-news-weather/id913753848
Flipboard is a great service if you care about aesthetics when viewing your articles. It gets the name from its article viewing or browsing style, where you need to ‘flip’ to view the next page or the next headline. Flipboard allows you to follow categories, or create categories and add all the topics you want to it. It offers almost everything a news and reading app should and adds a social element to it. It allows you to like, share, or flip an article into a magazine. Magazines are collections of articles, that you can create and share, or keep it to yourself. You can even flip articles that you found on the web into your own magazine. It also allows you to follow other users and view their magazines and updates. But, as they say, nobody’s perfect, and Flipboard isn’t either. Flipboard doesn’t have the ‘read later’ type of option available in some services, where you can just hit save and have them offline. While saving them in a magazine and fetching it for offline does sound like a good alternative, the offline version of the app is a bit glitchy and makes it hard to access the magazine at all. The Flipboard website doesn’t have an article view, it just redirects you to the original source website of the article, but on the other hand, the apps do offer the flip style view for some articles, and redirects to the source website for the rest.
Visit the site: www.flipboard.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=flipboard.app
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/flipboard-news-for-you/id358801284
Before all these news services and apps came into the scene, we had RSS, which allowed us to get updates from any sites we wanted, which includes news sites. RSS has been around a long time, and it’s still alive and well. The core of Feedly is just RSS. We subscribe to sources, add them, categorise them into folders, and view the articles or updates. That’s the basic function. Feedly has a ‘Today’ section where you can get the updates for the day, ‘Read later’ section to add articles that you want to come back to later, and an ‘Explore’ section to just explore the recent updates across all categories. Additionally, Feedly has boards, where you can add specific articles to collect them. For free, Feedly allows up to 100 sources, and 3 boards, but with the pro subscription, you can add unlimited sources, unlimited boards, notes, highlights, mute keywords and much more. Feedly has also introduced ‘Teams’, where a number of people can be part of a team, with shared feeds and boards, but this comes with team-based paid subscription. But for those looking to simply read the news properly, Feedly website has an article view, so you won’t be redirected each time you click on an article, but the mobile apps would open the article in your browser.
Visit the site: www.feedly.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.devhd.feedly
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/feedly-get-smarter/id396069556
Inoreader is another RSS reader that’s been around for a long time. It has features similar to Feedly, which includes organizing sources into folders, read later section, muting keywords, adding unlimited sources, all for free. It also allows you to favourite articles, add tags, get alerts based on keywords, and send articles to any connected device. It has multiple types of subscription plans, with each one offering more features than the previous one. Some of them include - an ad-free experience, having your entire folders offline, translating articles, searching within articles, customizable dashboard, social media feeds, and password protection for feeds. Inoreader also has the teams feature similar to Feedly. But Inoreader also has something called ‘Rules’ which is a type of automation that allows you to sort the incoming feeds based on keywords or sources, but it comes with the paid subscription. Most of these options cannot be seen in the mobiles devices, which may seem like a simple version of the website, so you may want to check out both the site and the apps before you make your decision. So, if you’re going to become a paid subscriber of Feedly or Inoreader, you might want to go in-depth to see which one suits your needs.
Visit the site: www.inoreader.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.innologica.inoreader
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/inoreader-rss-news-reader/id892355414
Nuzzel offers a few different ways to get your news. You can connect your social profile, and it will show you the articles shared by your friends and followers, and their friends and followers. You can also directly view each of your friends’ feed. Another way is to follow newsletters. Users of Nuzzel, that includes you, can create newsletters, that can be followed by other users of Nuzzel. These newsletters are also published by top publishers like BBC, CNN, TechCrunch etc. which makes it similar to getting direct updates from these news sources. Apart from these, Nuzzel also has a ‘Discover’, ‘Best of Nuzzel’ and ‘Featured feeds’ tabs, so connecting your social account is a choice rather than a necessity. Nuzzel also offers a pro subscription plan which improves your reading experience by removing ads, and adding dark mode and keyword filtering.
Visit the site: www.nuzzel.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nuzzel.android
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/nuzzel-news-for-professionals/id692285770
Inkl is a more recent player among the news apps and services. When it came out in 2015, it claimed to be the Spotify of news services, and their aim was to offer the readers ad-free quality news reading experience for a cheap subscription plan. Inkl claims to show you only the reliable news from curated news sources. It gets rid of all the click-bait and spam that you might come across elsewhere. The home page shows you the day’s news, separated based on their categories. You can view the news of any day, by selecting the date. It has a good and clean article view, and at the bottom of it, there will be a list of related articles, so you won’t have to jump around and search for yourselves. But if you want, you can search for any news across the sources, or just search and follow the tags and get all the related news in your home page. It also has the option to view your reading history, and also save articles offline, so that you can read them all later. The service is free when supported by ads, but if you want, you can get the monthly subscription plan, which is comparatively cheap, or the pay-per-article plan.
Visit the site: www.inkl.com
Get the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inkl.app
Or the iPhone app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/inkl/id993231222
These are the top 9 that stood out to me, but these are not the only ones that you should look out for. Check out the poll and vote for the one you like!