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AccuWeather for Android, Top Weather App

Posted on Jan 23, 2012 in News and Weather, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

The AccuWeather for Android app offers accurate and localized weather all wrapped together in a beautiful, straightforward interface.

  • Version: 2.0.10
  • Size: 9.08MB (no apps2SD, necessary for widget functionality)
  • Category: Weather
  • Price: Free

The AccuWeather app includes one of the best weather widgets in its class of weather Android apps. The 4×1 horizontal widget includes a graphic for the current weather conditions (e.g. partly cloudy/sunny), along with the current temperature (plus the RealFeel® temperature), location, and today’s high/low temperatures. Like most other widgets, tapping it launches the full app.

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Google Currents Android App, Personalized Magazine-Style Web Content

Posted on Dec 8, 2011 in News and Weather, Top Rated Apps | 1 comment

The Google Currents Android app is a simple, elegant way to view your favorite web content all in one place.

  • Version: 1.0
  • Size: 5.61MB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: News & Weather
  • Price: Free

Google Currents is Google’s response to popular apps like Flipboard (iOS) and Pulse Reader which provide a simple interface for perusing your favorite RSS feeds, web content, and social content.

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Top Android App: CNN

Posted on Apr 20, 2011 in News and Weather, Top Rated Apps | comment

“Experience what happpens when storytelling meets the latest technology” with the new CNN app for Android.

  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Size: 1.51MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: News and Weather
  • Price: Free



CNN took their time developing and fine-tuning their Android app, and it definitely shows in its functionality and gorgeous UI. The app opens to the latest headlines and top stories. Swiping left/right switches to the other categories such as politics, entertainment, health, and travel. Each category then features the ten latest articles including their headlines and thumbnail images.

In the article view, summary bullet points are displayed at the top in case you don’t have time (or the interest) to read the entire story. If there is a related video, just click the thumbnail and it will begin to play immediately. The fact that videos don’t require an outside application to view them is a huge convenience.

One of the first things you’re sure to notice is the unique design of the user interface. The black background makes reading articles much easier on the eyes. Plus, it can only help battery life in the long run (white backgrounds require more energy to display). Additionally, in the user settings there is the option to adjust the text size if you have trouble reading the smaller fonts.

Pros:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest news from a respected source
  • User-interface employs a black background for enhanced readability
  • Sign-in and sync with your Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Option to activate breaking news notifications
  • Homescreen widget
  • Submit iReport directly from your Android device



Areas for improvement:

  • Additional customization options for the homescreen widget (size, multiple categories, etc.)



Conclusion: An incredibly refined and streamlined Android news app with a long list of useful features.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android Widget: Minimal RSS Widget

Posted on Feb 13, 2011 in News and Weather, Top Rated Apps, Top Rated Widgets | 2 comments

Minimal RSS Widget is a simple, elegant way to display your RSS feed items on your Android homescreen.

  • Version: 1.2.1
  • Size: 86.80KB
  • Category: News & Weather
  • Price: Free



To create the widget, do as you would with any other widget and long-press on your Android homescreen. Then, to add feeds you have to manually enter their addresses in the box. Make sure to click save before exiting this screen.

In the settings, you can adjust the refresh rate, scrolling speed, and max entries for the display. Additionally, you can set the background, alignment, and arrow color to match your current theme. To get back to these options after creating the widget, click on the far left side of it.

Unfortunately, at this time there is no synchronization or importing option for Google Reader. However, the main purpose of this widget isn’t really to display all of your RSS items, since that wouldn’t really be practical. Rather, just add a few sites that you’d like to keep close tabs on throughout the day. Check out the official Google Reader app for a non-widget RSS manager.

Pros:

  • Clean, elegant RSS feed widget
  • Settings provide theme-friendly options
  • Very active and receptive developer



Areas for Improvement:

  • Google Reader importing and synchronization support



Conclusion: An RSS feed widget that will complement any Android homescreen.

[AppBrain Link]

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Read Full-Content, Full-Color Newspapers w/ PressReader

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 in News and Weather, Top Rated Apps | comment

PressReader offers high-fidelity browsing and offline reading in a rewarding, cover-to-cover experience.

  • Version: 1.1.11.0107
  • Size: 1.56MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: News & Weather
  • Price: Free (trial, subscriptions available)



PressReader offers over 1,700 full-content newspapers from 92 countries in 48 languages. This Android app comes with 7 trial issues, so that you can test and download the specific newspapers you are interested in. Some of the most popular publications include USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Vancouver Sun, and The Herald. You can read the latest local, domestic, or international news on a daily basis.

The best feature of this Android app is its incredible interface. Rather than scroll through an uninspiring list of top stories, you can read the entire newspaper as it was printed, without comprising its quality, aesthetics, or complete content. Clicking on an article title highlighted with a blue background takes you to an easy-to-read single article view. Plus, pinch-to-zoom and double-tap zoom are also both enabled.

If you choose to continue using this app, there are pay-as-you-go ($0.99 per issue) and monthly ($29.95 per month) plans to choose from.

Pros:

  • 1,700+ full-content newspapers from around the world
  • Beautiful, high-quality interface creates a pleasant reading experience
  • Automatic downloading of new issues for offline viewing



Areas for Improvement:

  • Option to allow page-turning even while zoomed in



Conclusion: Read cover-to-cover, full-content newspapers directly on your Android device.

[AppBrain Link]

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