Consuming information on the web is a challenge today. Over the time I have built my sources manually but then I always think about how can it be made smarter. I have been loyal to Feedly for some time now and often play around with Flipboard too. Besides this the market is cluttered with mobile news reading apps, so when I recently read about NewsCo I wondered what more can this new app bring in to get more eye balls.
Consuming news quickly from NewsCo app
The curiosity led me to the web app initially and my curiosity got doubled when I realized that there is an Android mobile app too. Once you download the app from the Google store, you can browse content even without logging in. The screen grab at your right is the landing screen of the app. The home screen pulls out all kinds of news in one go by categorizing them as Popular, Latest and Top. By clicking on the individual options, you can browse the news and by further clicking on the news you can read the entire news.
This is where the app gets smart as you click on a particular news. You get a news snippet that would describe the news and after that the entire news item is summarized in bulleted points under Story Highlights section.
So if you are in a hurry and you want to check out the latest news then you can just go through the Story Highlights of any news and get to know the entire story in few seconds without even bothering to read the entire story. Coupled with this there is one more cool feature called ‘Story Makers’ which pulls up people who are mentioned in the story. On click of their images you get more information about them, courtesy Wikipedia.
Besides you can share the stories on social networks and if you want to read the entire story then the app can divert you to the original source of the article.
Exploring news categories and sources
The app has a creating account option too. If one clicks on the left most icon – Explore then there are social logins provided by Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. I logged in via Facebook but right now personalizing content is not available. This would surely be in the future road map.
The app which is aggregating new content mainly from Indian news sites can be explored individually or based on category. So as a user if I want to read only tech or Bollywood news then I will tap on the Explore icon and select the category of my interest. Similarly if I am interested only in reading news from a selected publication then I will have to tap on the right most icon – News Sources and select the one which I am interested in. The screen grab at the right gives a glimpse of the Explore feature.
Can it make it in an already crowded market?
The app is simple, neat and does the job at a basic level. Right now it is a news aggregating app which provides news to be consumed quickly. So for now it does the job but it will have to add on required features along with some unique ones.
Design and experience was quite neat but it will have to scale high to beat the competition. Some of the interesting features from the web could be incorporated in the mobile app. For example features like Hot Trends, More In News, etc. In fact incorporating the My News feature in mobile and making it more intelligent would be good for the app.
In the past we had a chance to review news reading apps like Frrole and Feedspot. Frrole is an app that is trying to solve the pain point by curating news from Twitter. Not only does the app curate news depending upon location but it does this based on interests. For example, you may be not interested in reading the world news, so you have the choice of selecting your city and following the business and sports news there. Feedspot is trying to be a social reader that takes our news reading experience one step ahead with the integration of social features. Even though both Frrole and Feedspot are not similar to NewsCo but they attack the same market.
Nevertheless, I would be excited to know what other developments the Founders are planning to roll out to keep their neck high up in the market. Meanwhile, if you are a regular consumer of content via mobile then do give NewsCo a try and let us know your experience.