The first time I held my original iPad in my hands, the biggest thought coursing through my mind was how useful the device might be for reading the news. Part of my daily grind as a blogger is keeping up with the latest news in technology and geek interests. That means reading dozens of blog posts, news articles, and scanning various sites such as Digg and Reddit for the latest trends in the industry. Doing this on an iPad is remarkably easy if you have the right apps.
No one app can really give you the full scope of the latest news going on in the world. Some specialize in reading and delivering RSS content, others have a more specific function relating to financial, political, or world event news. The best solution for you is typically dependent on your own personal habits and tastes. These ten apps come recommended by other readers of LockerGnome and the LockerGnome staff.
Here are 10 iPad news apps to keep you informed in 2012.
Flipboard is an obvious choice for this list. In fact, it was the app most often recommended when we turned the question over to LockerGnome’s community members as to which iPad app they use to keep up to date with the latest news.
Flipboard is an RSS reader at heart with a little more capability than most. For the majority of sites that you feed into Flipboard, the content on the actual site is made available instead of just the preview text most RSS readers display to users. Navigating virtually any and all sites you check regularly in a uniform and consistent form can be a huge time saver when you want to find out the latest news without navigating multiple interfaces to do so.
Flipboard is basically a one stop shop for pretty much any written content you choose to keep up with online. As long as the site has an RSS feature, you can probably get it to work right out of the box with Flipboard.
Here are some recommendations sent in from the LockerGnome community on Google+.
David Hegner: Flipboard is the only one I use. By far the best app out there.
Philippe Chanet: Flipboard rocks even more now that it’s available both on the iPad and the iPhone.
Steve Pires: Flipboard for the win!
Seth Rusackas: I have also found myself using Flipboard on my iPad almost exclusively. Its layout is superb [on] iPad, but suffers a bit on the iPhone due to its screen size, despite a valiant effort to make it work.
Flipboard is a free universal binary available for both the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store.
Pulse News is awesome. If you like the idea of browsing through multiple RSS feeds via Flipboard, but want a faster way to navigate through the content, you’re probably going to love Pulse News for iPad.
Adding new feeds and/or categories to Pulse News is incredibly easy, and I’m a huge fan of the whimsical, hand-drawn graphics that make up some of the back end of the app.
You can opt to set up an account with Pulse.me or simply set one up using your Facebook account and assigning yourself a Handle. These accounts will allow you to sync your various feeds across multiple devices using Pulse News as well as share stories with your friends via social networking.
Here is a little feedback from our community on Google+ about Pulse News.
Michael Leone: I don’t like Flipboard; the interface annoys me. But I do use Pulse on my Android phone often. Usually when I’m using my iPad, I’m watching a video or something.
Pulse News is a free universal binary available for both the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store.
If you like video, and only video, then Vodio is perfect for you. Vodio took me by surprise. Not only was it an incredibly fun app to navigate with its carousel structure and horizontal/vertical controls, but it was lightning fast and entertaining.
Adding new feeds and channels is a breeze, and you can even customize where you want a specific channel to appear on the rotating virtual spindle. It’s like Vodio took the Apple Cover Flow interface and combined it with the Metro theme from Windows Phone 7.
Here is a little feedback from our community on Google+ about Vodio.
Charlie aka Labman: Vodio — it’s a slick little video app that provides suggested Web videos in a variety of categories (e.g. News, Sports, Tech, etc.), based on my Twitter/Facebook/YouTube feeds as well as the videos I like or dislike within the app. It has an intuitive interface and I can share videos easily on Twitter and Facebook.
Vodio is available as an iPad-only binary for free in the iTunes App Store.
Feeddler has a strange name, but it came recommended by a member of the LockerGnome community, so I decided to give it a shot. Upon opening the app, I was greeted with a login screen right off the bat without so much as a hint of what exactly the app looks like or does.
Feeddler is basically another Google Reader client. Granted, the interface itself is very basic and that can be a big plus to a lot of users who just want to access the content and see what their favorite sites are posting without the hassle of a fancy interface.
Unlike some RSS readers, this one just gives you what’s sent through the RSS feed. This makes the content creators happy as it means that you’ll need to go to the site and load an instance of the page with ads in order to view the entire article. As such, that makes Feeddler a more ethical choice, in my opinion, as it doesn’t bypass a support mechanism that keeps your favorite site operational. Trust me, it helps.
What I did like a lot about it was how fast it worked. I could browse very quickly and enjoy every benefit of my desktop RSS reader with ease. As much as I may not like the basic look and feel of it, I was surprised at just how useful Feeddler actually was.
Here is a little feedback from our community on Google+ about Feeddler.
Drew Nicholson: I read my RSS feeds through an app called Feeddler, which I really like a lot.
Feeddler is a free universal binary available for both the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store.
CNN comes recommended by the iTunes App Store as the most popular news app currently available for the iPad. The CNN app makes use of every centimeter of screen real estate available by covering the entire area with images and stories of the day. Navigating between written and video stories can be done with a single tap, and finding something interesting is relatively easy, even though it can appear a bit chaotic at first.
While testing the CNN app on my iPad for this article, I found a glitch that caused it to crash every time I attempted to switch from the screen-filling mass of images to a list format while in landscape mode. I tried it five times, and the app crashed on me every time. I wish I could review this feature, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait for an update. I’ve included a screen shot to the right of just what the screen looked like an instant before it crashed.
Glitches aside, this is one of the better interfaces I’ve found while scouting around for a good news app. That may be one of the big reasons for its popularity, especially when compared to other potentially more organized experiences.
Here is a little feedback from our community on Google+ about the CNN app.
Jeremy Sikora: Odd not many are mentioning the CNN app. It has a really nice layout, up-to-the-minute news, text, and video. It also has the live CNN TV feed along with the hourly update audio stream, which both add quality to the app.
CNN for iPad is available as an iPad-only binary for free in the iTunes App Store.
Reeder, simply put, is a Google Reader client. Reeder gives you the ability to do a number of interesting things including browsing by feeds or folders, making and managing notes including starring important articles for future viewing, image caching, state saving, sharing through email, Twitter, Delicious, Pinboard, Zootool, and more.
The interface itself is very clean and intuitive, with only a few caveats. A little more customization would go a long way toward allowing the app to meet the tastes of a larger user base.
Reeder’s real advantage comes in an offline capacity. You can venture in and out of Wi-Fi range without being kicked out of an otherwise unresponsive app.
Here are a few thoughts from our community on Google+.
Bill Fairchild: Reeder, though I wish the buttons were bigger and movable.
Justin Long: Oh, I do use Reeder too… when I’m going to be offline for a while… download and review, star, and then sync. But when I’m in Wi-Fi, I usually just use Google Reader itself.
Reeder for iPad is available for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store and works only with the iPad.
Bloomberg for iPad
Bloomberg for iPad has to be one of the most frequently used apps in my news folder. If you need up-to-the-minute financial statistics without the hassle of digging around and searching for them, this is the app for you. Everything from the price of copper to the latest news on the DOW is available with ease on Bloomberg for iPad.
News, equity indices, stocks, currencies, commodities, index futures, bonds, and even financial podcasts are instantly available from the home page.
A customized stock listing allows you to set up a page filled only with stocks you have an active interest in tracking.
Bloomberg for iPad is an iPad-only binary available for free from the iTunes App Store.
For those of you who love the idea of subscribing to magazines, but don’t like the limitations or experience that Newsstand brings, there is Zinio. Zinio has been raising awareness for digital magazines since before Apple came out with Newsstand. Of all the digital reading and subscription management apps out there, Zinio has made a name for itself as being one of the most full-featured and elegant solutions available to date.
Not only is there a sizable library of back issues and current releases available to users through in-app purchases, but browsing and discovering new content is extraordinarily easy. In fact, the dedicated Explore section can help you quickly discover interesting articles and issues that might be worth checking out. Browsing through these suggested pieces is a breeze, and the majority of the functions available on the app are intuitive.
Zinio is a universal binary available for free on both iPhone and iPad from the iTunes App Store.
Fans of BBC News will be happy to discover that the international news organization has a very robust app filled with news from around the World. Not only that, but you can listen to a live radio stream of BBC News and read news in many different languages including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and more.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of the BBC News app is the graphical navigation that helps you to quickly find the stories you’re most interested in, read them, and immediately select something new. Holding the iPad in a landscape position works great for reading multiple articles in a limited amount of time.
You can also watch news summaries and bulletins that last about a minute so you can get back to whatever it is you’re doing.
The BBC News app is a universal binary available for both the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store.
We’ll close out this list with the one app that a great many people are using simply because it’s built-in to the OS. Newsstand allows you to subscribe to a variety of newspapers and magazines from your iOS device and makes them available to you without ever having to leave the home screen.
What makes Newsstand useful is the wide range of free content available, including digital magazines by some of the biggest blogs in the tech industry. I spent a long while ignoring the Newsstand icon on the home screen just hoping that some day I might actually want to subscribe to a magazine on my iOS device. Only recently have I discovered exactly how awesome it actually is. Not bad.
If I were to compare it to Zinio, I’m still a fan of Zinio’s robust functionality and incredible interface. Newsstand may well be a great solution for the masses, while Zinio is more suited for the power user.
What apps do you use to keep up with the latest news?