Newsweek Mobile, a Mediocre Attempt at a News App for Android
Jul 21, 2011 2:47 PM –
Newsweek Mobile. Passionate about the news? Get in-depth insight and analysis into the most significant issues of the day with NEWSWEEK’s opinion-leading stories from the most influential names in journalism, all from your Android phone.
Tested on: HTC Thunderbolt, Samsung Galaxy Tablet
Pros & Cons:
- Easy to navigate interface!
- Articles on World News, National News, Politics, Health, Culture, Technology, and Business!
- Allows for sharing of articles through all the usual culprits!
- Favorites section for easy access to your favorite news topics!
- Favorites is redundant and unnecessary due to application layout.
- Sparse articles in Health, Business, Technology, and Culture.
- No option to enlarge article text or change text/background contrast.
- Have to select “other” when sharing just to share with most applications.
- It costs money to use this application and has ads.
Newsweek Mobile for Android is a simple to use international news application from Handmark. Newsweek features customizable favorites, Top Stories, World News, and National News, Politics, Business, Technology News, and much more. Newsweek also allows you to share articles through Facebook and Twitter.
The app breaks available stories down into categories. The these categories are listed at the top of the screen in the application and are: Business, Government Top Stories, Technology, Blogs, Politics, Culture, and Health. After selecting a category of news the application opens up a news feed beneath the category heading. A list of articles pertaining to the selected heading are displayed along with brief descriptions and the headline image.
Once you select an article the application displays the full article with all incorporated images. The articles are displayed in black text with a white background making them extremely easy to read. Unfortunately there is no option to increase article font size, so readers with limited vision may require reading glasses.
At the top of the article there are small tabs. These symbolize other articles in the selected category. In order to move to the next article in a given category you merely need to swipe your finger to the side of the screen for the next article so be displayed. Unfortunately, the application does not hide read articles and so it is easily possible to begin reading an article you have already read in this fashion.
While major topics of interest such as World News, National News, and Politics tend to be rich in articles and content; less popular topics like Health and Culture have very little content. This causes a major disparity between the quality of content under the various categories.
Next, Newsweek allows you to program in favorite categories of news. Your favorites are then easily accessible through a pull down menu at the top of the application. Yet this feature has little use since all of the categories are always accessible through the sliding top menu.
Finally, you can share articles while reading them by pressing the share button at the bottom of the article. Newsweek supports sharing through Facebook, and Twitter, Email, Messaging, and your other standard sharing clients through the “other” option. Why they don’t just offer all of the share options up front without having to select a separate option to see them… I will never understand. :confused:
Newsweek Top Stories
Newsweek Article View
Newsweek Mobile is useful if you like to read the magazine or if you are interested in one of the categories of news they consistently cover. If you are interested in World News, National News, and or Politics and trust Newsweek then you may end up liking this application. However, the you are interested in Technology, Health, Culture, or one of the other less popular categories of news this application claims to support, you will be greatly disappointed.
Ease of Use:
Newsweek Mobile is extremely easy to use. There are very few customization options in the application to confuse, the inexperienced app user and the interface are fairly intuitive. However, the favorites feature may be confusing to the user due to its obvious redundancy with the standard category select feature.
I would not use this application frequently due to its lack of content in Technology and other important topics. Even the categories with coverage do not have significant content to justify frequently using this application. Unless you are a dedicated reader of Newsweek you will probably feel the same way.
The interface for Newsweek is straight forward and easy to use. The articles are easy to read and navigation through the categories is simple. Unfortunately the favorites feature feels redundant and the articles for many of the categories are sparse. Making what could have been a good minimalistic interface feel redundant and mediocre.