Posts Tagged

News

Four years ago I had the idea to build a blog network dedicated to reviewing and rounding up apps. We started with Mac apps and then quickly expanded to additional channels covering iOS, Android, Windows and Web apps. While the network has been successful in traffic and audience, reaching some 100m+ visitors over the four years, it’s ultimately not fit within our broader company mission. So I’m here today to announce that unfortunately after four years of app guidance, we’re closing AppStorm down.

Click here to continue reading the message from Collis at Mac.AppStorm.

Sifting, and searching, and scanning, and scrolling, and squinting. The latest headlines smother my timelines, but encountering a story that is of true interest is a chance event — which is why I usually turn to RSS. When in the company of my feeds, I only receive articles from publishers I can rely on to provide high quality, genuinely interesting content.

Unfortunately, this hand-picked approach is a bit of a closed shop. The likelihood is that I’ll miss great stories from publishers I don’t follow closely, and there’s the propensity for this setup to get a bit stale.

So, I’m interested to see if Sulia — a news recommendation platform that offers intelligent filtering by subject — can provide a suitable, more open alternative. But can diversity and precision really work well together?

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Twitter is fast emerging as the go-to news source, with 1 in 10 Americans getting their news through the microblogging network, according to a survey. And the biggest news organisation on Twitter is undoubtedly Breaking News. Well, what started as a Twitter-only outfit has grown into a giant. And recently, they rolled out a whole new Web app, along with mobile apps for iOS and Android.

The new Breaking News 3.0 Web app has been completely redesigned and comes with a bunch of new features, like muting and saving topics, and a social element through ‘Whoa’. The iPhone app also has a cool Alerts feature to be notified of certain topics, which hasn’t yet been rolled out on the Web app. But the Web has the Maps interface for a look at the trending topics across the world. Let’s dive in…

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Breaking news is what Twitter does best. Whenever something huge happens both users and journalists turn to tweets to find out exactly what’s happening and to get pictures or videos. Monitoring this live stream of events is important to the media and companies that have a reputation to uphold. There are many services which offer this, including Twitter themselves; the search function can be a quick way to get hold of popular tweets on a story or event. However, they’re often lacking.

TwittStorm is a new take on monitoring Twitter in realtime, one that looks great and is fast enough that it seems more promising than most Twitter apps. Let’s take it for a spin and see how it holds up.

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My wife and I recently moved to a new-to-us townhouse. Moving’s never easy, but it’s at least gotten us to go through our clothes and stuff, clearing out what we’ll likely never use again and organizing what we’ve kept so we’ll find it easier. It’s still a work in progress, but should be an improvement once we’re settled in.

So it goes with moving to new apps. Google Reader’s demise has forced us all to find a new home for our RSS feeds, and that’s likely made it the perfect time to change how you approach RSS. Fever’s made it easier for me to find the top stuff in the news each day, without having to read through all of my feeds, and finding new apps that work with it has been a fun process. I still essentially read my feeds the same, but I sure enjoy my current setup more than I did Google Reader.

Has the move away from Google Reader changed anything for you? Do you check RSS feeds more or less often with your new app? Or, have you given up on RSS altogether, opting instead for social networking and news aggregators?

RSS seems to be a seriously hot technology again. In recent weeks, there has been an extraordinary deluge of apps being released in response to Google Reader’s shutdown. Some of these are trying to tempt prospective users by offering innovative extra features, but many are happy to provide a clone-like experience. There are, however, some apps which have built on Reader’s foundations, but have added their own refinement, particularly in the direction of minimalist design, Digg and AOL being prime examples.

A new invite beta service named MnmlRdr, which has somewhat stayed under the radar thus far, is a promising new entry in this last category. I’m trying to find out whether it is an undiscovered gem, or whether it should be left in the shade. (more…)

Since Google Reader saw its end last week, many of us have been searching for a new reader application. The nice part about this is that it has given us the chance to find something that could be better than Google Reader. Not only that, but it has made developers create some great Reader applications. Although I have settled on using Feedly myself, I found another interesting app that does things a little different than most of the replacements that are out there. I was able to take Newsle out for a test spin to see how it would work for me and I was very intrigued by it and how it worked.

Newsle takes a somewhat different approach to reading news in that it doesn’t use your RSS feeds to get articles to read. Instead it relies on your friends and other important figures to give you the news. It took me a little getting used to, but I can see how it could possibly meet a need for people. Let’s take a look at it more to see if could possibly work for you.

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When it comes to the RSS feed app wars, at this point if you are going to win people over, you have to be willing to do something different. Not radically different, but something that will make you stand out. Whenever I come across a new Google Reader app, I ask myself, “What does this app do that I cannot already do in Google Reader?”

In the case of Nextly, they definitely present you with a different experience all together. Unlike other RSS reader apps, they take a slightly different route that is somewhat interesting and could actually catch on. One  feature that they do to stand out from the others is that they incorporate the use of the keyboard into the reading experience. Sound intriguing? Let’s explore more of this app and see what it has in store for us.

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There has been much said about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader, and while for many people it is just another closure of a little used service, for lots of others it means losing a valuable source of news.

If you had come to rely on Google’s news reader to keep up to date with the latest news and posts from your favorite websites – including Web.AppStorm! – you could turn to Twitter to plug the gap. Here we’ll take a look at Twitter lists and show how they can be used as a viable alternative to RSS feeds.

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When Google announced that they planned to close Reader on July 1, the online community’s reaction varied from surprised approval, to shocked horror. Google’s decision was based on the flagging number of users who still use feeds in preference to social media.

But as any self-respecting RSS aficionado will know, flicking through your tweets, or browsing your Facebook timeline, isn’t the best way of finding interesting content. Until now, though, there have been very few services providing a halfway house between feeds and social media.

Rockmelt, which was once a socially-orientated web browser, has been reinvented as a social media-based, feed-reading network. But is Rockmelt‘s new course bound for being accepted as a great new way to read the news, or is it heading more in the direction of the doomed FriendFeed? Let’s see.

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