There are a lot of newsreaders available for iPad, both free and paid, though a absolute winner has yet to emerge. Whereas the best AP News client is actually NPR’s app, and neither the Wall Street Journal nor New York Times apps have distinguish themselves, Reuters has turned in a much better effort.
I’m a big fan of the NPR iPad app, which probably the best example of the side scrolling interface design paradigm introduced by Apple’s latest creation. It’s easy to get immersed in the radio + stories + photo content on offer.
Reuters New Pro starts you out with quite similar pretty face, but switches to the highly functional, two-pane interface ethic of iPad Mail, a wise choice as it makes browsing and consuming news easy and intuitive.
However, Reuters takes the idea a step farther with category headers that slide neatly open and stick at the top of the pane until you’ve fully scanned a category — a thoughtful touch.
Video playback, like other iPad news apps, is a bit pixely and full-screen display isn’t fullscreen. However, when connectively is spotty (i.e. a crowded hotspot or , stopping the player in order to let the cache fill up doesn’t work — stopping the player stops the download. Further, even when there’s no video to play, the player just keeps playing.
For sharing, the social grease of an iPad newsreader app worthy of the word “pro,” Reuters only offers Twitter and email. A bookmark, favorite and/or Facebook Like button should be on the shortlist of needed features for the developers of this app.
A better fire hose…
Lastly, although Reuters News Pro offers links to its general website, this app is a sandbox. A pretty, well-designed sandbox and, on the whole, that’s a good thing™.
What I’d really like, and this isn’t a criticism of Reuters or NRP per se as both are well done, is a well-designed and curated fire-hose newsreader app. Yes, SkyGrid (review) isn’t bad (I use it daily) and Fluent News (iTunes) has its fans, but a highly configurable app with a pleasing, easy-to-navigate design with strong sharing functionality, such as an API accessible to Evernote and WordPress, is really what this news junkie wants.
Nevertheless, if you’re into consuming a highly curated, single stream of news, Reuters News Pro is pleasing to the eye, easy to use and priced just right (free)…
What’s your take?