Keeping Up With the News – Digital Tools
by Reese Jones
News travels faster than ever and there is more of it, reported in more ways, by more agencies, than you could possibly imagine. Trying to keep up with it all is an impossibility. That’s why it can be of great benefit to the news hungry, to have some way to tailor what news will reach them. With mobile devices set to take over as the major news communication device, the number of news apps has proliferated faster than a plague of locusts. With so many apps out there, it is hard to choose the one that suits you best. Here are some handy tips to helping you find what is best for you. Please note, these are only guidelines and not articles of faith…
News: Your point of view
With so much news out there, it is important that your app learns to discern what news would typically be of interest to you. Your news app should be able to pick out news from geographical regions, subject areas such as art, entertainment and politics as well as what type of news. This last option is a little tricky. You might be more interested in features rather than straight-up news reports. You might want news round up like a stockmarket report or general news bulletin. A good news app should be able to scan the news out there and pick out the news based on your preferences.
The layout is also crucial. Some news apps can organise your news efficiently according to your preferred categories. In some instances they can even prioritise what news reaches you, so that if time is short the important news reaches you first. It can also adapt the way the news is presented to you, so that for example you can have a list of news snippets presented to you. RSS feeds are a particularly popular way of garnering news that interests you in an accessible way that allows you to find out what’s going at just a glance.
Who has your ear?
In this age of celebrity, news presenters can attract a cult following so if you just cannot bear the thought of missing any interrogation from The Paxman then you should get a news app that can identify and select news from certain sources. My father, for example, has a completely irrational love of FOX news. Now if I were of a mind, I could install an app that looks specifically for reports from FOX News; unfortunately for him, he can’t install the app – he’s not savvy enough to know how…he watches FOX news after all. Of course, I won’t bother. My mother told me not to encourage other people’s bad habits. Naturally, nigh on every national news agency has their own app, if you have your colours pinned to one particular mast.
How about this for fancy? Buzz Voice can scan the news for your favourite news items and then read them out to you. In essence, you would be creating your own personal news radio show. You can happily make yourself breakfast in the morning while your phone tells you what’s going on in the sectors and countries you are interested in. I’m a particular fan of using this app when my mother-in-law comes to visit, as I can pretend I’m on the phone to someone. Amazing how hearing what’s going on in Africa helps you blur out someone’s very existence from your consciousness.
Share the pain/gain
Some particular news item excites or depresses you so much you just have to tell your friends? Well, many news apps have jumped on the online social bandwagon and allow you to share your news collections in an easy manner. Pulse News is a particularly useful way of organising and sharing your news on Facebook, Twitter or via email.
About the Author
Reese Jones is a tech and gadget lover, a die-hard fan of iOS and console games. She started her writing venture recently and writes about everything from quick tech tips, to mobile-specific news from the likes of O2, to tech-related DIY. Find more about her and her work at Reese+ and tweet her @r_am_jones.