Extra, Extra!
Newsreader apps help users curate content amid an information glut
Tech / 22 Aug 2011
Though Internet Anxiety Disorder may sound like a faux affliction, the web has bred countless very real information addicts who are now suffering from tech fatigue. As headlines stream a-mile-a-minute, there remains a persistent fear of missing out. To the rescue comes a new breed of aggregator apps, like those below, designed to relieve the restlessness that’s become synonymous with staying informed.
Pulse
: As convenient as smartphones are, attempting to navigate headlines on a tiny screen while on the move can be challenging. Enter Pulse, an app available for iPhone, Android and iPad that was developed by two Stanford grads as part of a course at the Institute of Design. The goal was to create an attractive, yet efficient, news reading app that would pull multiple users’ content streams, making them available instantly in one neat feed. Social capabilities allow users to follow each other’s streams as well. Launched just last year and already at the 5 million user mark, Pulse has partnered with several major news outlets, most recently with ESPN.
Float
: Just as its parent site Scribd was labeled the “YouTube for documents,” Float has drawn comparisons to Flipboard, because it facilitates content browsing; Instapaper, because it lets users set bookmarks; and Twitter, because it shows users what their friends recommend. Float through the Favorites page to get a stream of all your sources, then swipe a headline to open the corresponding article with one of ten viewing options, or click it to add to a queue for reading later—with or without Wi-Fi. Float only pulls updates with links, eliminating not-so-newsworthy posts from those friends who photograph their food or think you care when their cat looks cute.
Read It Later
: Who isn’t guilty of checking Facebook at a red light or browsing Twitter while waiting for a receipt? One of many problems with Internet ADD is that important content can slip through the cracks regardless of how often one checks it. Meet Read It Later, a straightforward app that increases productivity – and, perhaps, driver safety – by allowing users to save webpages to revisit later, with or without an Internet connection. Users simply create lists of links from which the app will download for reading wherever and whenever. The only downside is that it requires registration, but that’s a minor price to pay for how it will improve your informational efficiency.
©The Intelligence Group