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Four must have news aggregator apps for your Android–Part 2

Taptu

Taptu is a smart choice for an app that allows you to put news items in one place. Free and fast, the main selling point of this app is by being straightforward.  Let’s see what are the features that make it so below.MyTaptu_OVR_610x417

 Features

Look for a simple yet powerful news reader and Taptu is the right choice.  It allows you to import  your news streams from Google Reader, making it more convenient for users already using Reader.

Presentation-wise, Taptu displays feeds on the screen in a small card like view. One news item occupies its own card within a row, showing a short description of the news. While the layout may look similar to Pulse News Reader, there is a main difference between the two is that Taptu offers a more powerful option in giving readers relevant feeds and a clean, neat interface. Pulse News Reader, on the other hand, is more visually attractive but seems to have a more cluttered interface. The cards and streams in Taptu are also more evenly spaced out, creating a comfortable feel to the interface.

Adding news streams in Taptu is easy by tapping on the “Plus Sign”, which will display a list of the most popular news streams at that moment. Some of the popular news streams include CNN, The Drudge Report, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Mashable, etc. Taptu allows you to look for news streams by topic.

The app also lets you add streams to the main screen of news not listed in the news feed database. Typing the name of the news stream in to the search box will tell Taptu to search the internet using Bing. This is every useful for adding your favorite streams or popular ones like Android Tapp and Google Reader.

To further bolster its list of features, Taptu also taps into social networks. Social feeds like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are fully supported and works perfectly. This is a great way to keep yourself up to date with professional and social networks while browsing through your news feeds.

Prioritizing or sorting feeds can sometimes be a chore but not for Taptu. Using the “Pencil Tool Tip” allows you to rearrange your news streams. The tool also makes mergers of feeds to customize your own package of news feeds. Very useful tool in de-cluttering the main screen of unwanted contents while at the same time making more important contents easily accessible.

The Settings option of the app lets you pick options that will be applied to the app itself like resizing Cards and Articles on the main screen, adjusting the scrolling of streams on your phone, or changing the theme for Taptu from light to dark or vice versa. Another great thing about this app is its ability to store your news feeds to an SD card of a phone or tablet. This means that you can save a copy of your favorite feeds permanently on a device. Great option if you will be forced to hard rest your phone, which will delete all your streams.

 Usefulness

This app keeps your feeds in one convenient place and it’s easy to use and set-up. With an added feature to allow you to save your news feeds to your SD card, Taptu is very useful in saving your time if you will be forced to delete everything off the phone.

Taptu is also useful in making a more personalized news aggregator for you by allowing you to add your own streams of news. The streams will also cover those coming from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

User-Friendly?

Yes. Easy to use and offering a massive amount of news content in a neat interface, Taptu is a perfect choice for those who are not that savvy with apps. The overall layout of the app is also easy to navigate.

User Interface

With a full load of useful features and less cluttered look compared to other news aggregator app out there, the interface of Taptu is simply excellent. It can be customized in a lot of ways ranging from the types of feeds to choose, to the size of the cards and articles, and down to the themes for the app itself. Adding new feeds is also a breeze, despite the fact that Taptu already comes with a load of many excellent news feeds.

Good and Bad Sides

Positive:

  • App is very straightforward and easy to set up
  • Offers many popular and excellent news feeds
  • Lets you add your own feeds
  • Allows customization of article size, card size, and themes
  • Supports SD card transfer of news feeds
  • Supports social news feeds like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook

Negative

  1. Does not allow multiple screens to save news items

 

Pulse News Reader

If you’re looking for a fun way to browse news from social networking sites and websites, Pulse News Reader is the best choice for you. With Pulse, you can have faster access to your favorite websites like Facebook by making them part of an interactive set of cards on the main screen of the app.  Tapping on an article allows you to see a fully displayed article in a clean and elegant page. You can also quickly share stories in Twitter, Facebook, or email by two taps. This is a popular app with broad support from various news organizations like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Techcrunch, etc.Pulse-News-Reader-app

 Features

The first feature that can be easily noticed is the selection of predefined news feeds that the app offers. There is also an option to manually input news feeds if you don’t like the suggested ones.  Great feeds aer available including the ones in predefined package. Feeds from news outlets like BBC, The Wall Street Journal, Life Hacker, Times Magazine, The New York Times, Boy Genius Report, and Android Central can be readily accessed using this app. Alternatively, you can also opt to use the predefined package of news to create your own independent feed.

After selecting all your feeds, Pulse Reader will create a unique collage of images taken from your articles coming from different sources. Each source you add creates a row on the “news board” that shows the headline picture of each article in a particular feed. For example, if you selected 20 different sources there will be 20 different rows of pictures and articles. This creates a nice palette of images making your experience a fun one.

Reading a news article is as simple as tapping on the image with the description. The “news board” will then disappear leaving only the article that was selected. A row of thumbnails for the feed the selected article belongs to will appear at the bottom of the page. This means that you can conveniently switch to another article in the same feed  after reading an article.

Just like Taptu,  Pulse Reader also allows you to get updates from social feeds like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, PicPlz and Digg.com. This way you get updates from your own and your friends profiles from these sites.

Pulse Reader also offers multiple “news boards” feature. This means that you can have multiple pages of content by creating a category of news items and feeds if you like. For instance, you may want to create a page just for Android news alone, or social feeds only. Switching between the pages is easy by tapping the heading at the top of the screen so the app will display the new page content and the articles in it.

Usefulness

Pulse Reader offers both form and substance in presenting news to users. Its features are very useful especially in presenting news in a manner consistent with many fashion magazines today. Pleasing to the eyes, Pulse Reader is an interesting app that also gives you round the clock updates from your social circles as it can link to Facebook and Twitter as well. Its “Friends’ Link” feature lets gives you instant access to you friends’s posts without leaving the app itself. It is useful in giving you updates about posts of your friends that you may have otherwise missed.

User-Friendly?

Yes. Pulse Reader is surprisingly easy to use despite having so many features built into it. A tutorial screen pops up when the app load to guide a user how to go about changing contents of “news boards”. With a simple interface, even a first time user will find the app amazingly easy to navigate as well. It’s  definitely a well-thought app.

 User Interface

As mentioned, the app’s simple interface is a striking selling factor. The layout suggests simplicity at its best when it comes to news readers. It is not easy to miss that ease of use was a factor when this app was conceived. Aesthetically, Pulse Reader is just superb.

Good and Bad Sides

Positive:

  • Offers great predefined news feeds for those who don’t have the time to customize their news feeds
  • The interface shows a colorful image mosaic of articles similar to that of a fashion magazine
  • Lets you create multiple news pages for easier grouping of topics
  • Abundance of features makes it even more interesting
  • Supports Twitter and Facebook
  • Also allows feeds from Digg.com, YouTube, PicPlz, and other social sites

Negative:

  • You can accidentally close the app if you are now careful
  • News website dependent, which means that limitations imposed by big news companies will only display correctly if the Pulse Reader works in tandem with the website of the article being read