Smartphones are pretty miraculous. Fifty years ago, we could never have imagined the prospect of carrying a personal computer – whose computational power vastly exceeds the 1963 world’s computational capacity – around with us 91 percent of the time (according to a recent report by Gartner). Of course, one of the highlights of living in so futuristic an interconnected world is the ability to stay abreast of the world’s comings and goings in an instant. But, we can do better. Some news apps get the information to you a shade faster than others, or with better searching features, or in a more pleasing form-factor. In this review, we’ll pick out some of the best. We’re going to stick with the BlackBerry platform for this review, cashing in on both the release of BlackBerry 10 (RIM’s refreshed Operating System (OS)) and the affordable BlackBerry prices we’re seeing at the moment. BlackBerry slashed their BlackBerry price last April, and their current handset line-up – including the coveted stylish BlackBerry Bold 3 mobile phone – is priced extremely competitively.
1. BlackBerry News App (free)
Straight from the device manufacturers themselves, the BlackBerry News App is an impressively polished RSS application. In case you didn’t know, ‘RSS’ stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ – it’s a protocol used web-wide to serve short excerpts from headline-grabbing articles in a myriad of different subjects to almost any display-centric device with an RSS reader installed. Almost every news site around the world – whether they focus on topics like technology, bee-keeping, child rearing, international affairs, or anything else – will broadcast their posts to the internet as an RSS ‘feed’.
The BlackBerry News App gives you a search portal, leaving you free to browse the Internet’s registries of RSS feeds for precisely the news you’re after. It’ll then suck in the news and present it to you in a tasteful, grid-style menu reminiscent of a newspaper.
2. BlackBerry Social Feeds (free)
A statement on the central importance of Social Media to BlackBerry’s platform, the Social Feeds app is bundled with BlackBerry devices as standard. Recently revised and revitalised, you can pull RSS and Social information from across the web and blend them together in to a social newsreading experience. If you find a story worth sharing, the features that let you do so are built straight in to the main interface.
3. ESPN & Sky Sports Centre (free)
Those with a hunger for sports-related news might find RSS feeders a little underwhelming. Sports enthusiasts need video so they can experience the latest goals, the most incredible shots, the nearest tackles and the fieriest crashes. Luckily, there’s an app that provides just that. Optimised for PlayBook right now, and free of charge, the ESPN & Sky Sports Centre is the best way to keep up to date with all the latest from the sporting world.
Do you have any news apps that help you to keep on top of the world’s affairs? Let us know in the comment section below!