What we're looking at today is the handset version of the rather impressive News360 news feed app that's been previously available for Honeycomb-laden Android tablets. We've got a review of that available for you as well, of course, because we love to grab those fabulous app reviews as soon as possible, and now here's the BRAND NEW handset version, fresh as can be! What this handset version does is take the same beautiful aesthetics and a very similar user interface as the original tablet-based newsfeed app and applies it to the smaller-screen having handsets you use on the daily. Will it add up? We'll see!
In the video below you'll get a glimpse of the tablet version of this app, for a full look at it, head over to the June 15th 2011 App of the Week post. That's right, this app is so good, it's gotten that title twice! What this new version does is take the same excellent content they've got streaming to you over your internet connection and pushes it down to a single image, title, time, date, and source. That's the most basic view. You'll be flipping back and forth, seeing the main image and titles that interest you, searching until you find the story that strikes your interest the most. At this point you'll just want to tap the image (or the title) and you'll be brought into a single text-based article view.
Inside this individual story mode, you'll be able to see a shortened version of the story you're interested in along with several options for reading. First, you'll be able to switch on or off highlighted keywords. When you tap a highlighted keyword, you'll be brought to a screen that identifies the keyword, this also linking you to stories that use that keyword prevalently. Next you'll be able to adjust text size (for people with small eyeballs.) Third, you'll be able to share the article using several social networks and sharing programs.
News360 has a special screen with Facebook, Twitter, ReadItLater, Instapaper, and other - other leads you to your normal share screen where you'll have the option to share with all the apps you'd normally be able to share with on your handset, including, in our case right this moment, Bluetooth, Gmail, GroupMe, and Mail. What's currently missing? Google+ of course! Lastly you'll be able to hit a Star which will add the article to your favorites for later access. You can also head below for a link to the full article on the source's webpage. This source link does not lead you outside the app into a browser app, instead conveniently sticking inside the app's own browser window for ease of continued access.
Below this is a set of "more coverage" articles that connects to the same story as written by different sources. Strange and awesome, that's what we're thinking here.
On your main screen in News360 there's a tiny bar link at the bottom of the screen that reads "Top Stories." It's here that you'll be able to get into your list of selected topics that will then keep you in the same single-story-title-and-picture mode but will have adjusted the subject matter to the keyword of your choice. Elegant and simple solution for a tiny screen!
One of the coolest features from the tablet version is still present here: the target button that leads you to a filtered collection of stories. One thing that us modern generation internet-based folk have trouble with (or, at least, quite a few folks my age in my area have trouble with,) is caring about local news when there's a whole internet of world-wide news out there at our fingertips. What this single button does is redirect all of our eyes back down to our own streets - a bonus tip: should you decide to want news from a different area specifically, head to your settings and switch off GPS - you'll be given the option to add a custom location, anywhere you want in the whole entire world! Don't expect too many stories out of Abu-Doobie though, not many online sources in the area.
Search and Favorites
You can search articles and you can keep a list of favorite articles which you can then later read, keep forever, or delete upon not caring once you realize you didn't want to save at all. Helpful and excellent.
Review and Hands-On Video
This version of News360 isn't quite as intricate and full as the tablet version, but that's to be expected. If you get the chance to check out the tablet version, I recommend doing so, as the floating gallery view alone is worth the trip down to your local Android Market!
Where do I get it?
To grab this app for FREE right now, head over to the [Android Market page for News360 for Phones!] It's one fantastic deal - free, all you could ever ask for. Now go in there and find you some Android Community posts so we can be more prevalent amongst the big gun non-Android news teams! Go get em!