ZOLT: News Summaries (iOS)
One of the biggest deterrents to reading the news is the amount of time that must be dedicated to it. While this may have been historically true, ZOLT is a mobile app that provides the summary of various news articles so that this deterrent is effectively eliminated. Instead of having to read the entire news article, the app provides just a summary so that all of the important content can be consumed in a fraction of the time. Furthermore, users can also choose to eliminate the stories that they are not interested in by topic so that they are shown only the news that they are relevant instead of everything. Beyond the summaries, readers can also react to the news stories as well as get access to the full article to get a deeper understanding of the story. With a minimalistic design that is extremely easy to navigate, ZOLT is one of the highest recommended news apps for those who do not have enough time to read entire articles.
For those who are not interested in reading the news, one of the most popular alternatives is to watch videos of it instead. Newsy is an app that aggregates news videos from various sources and presents it in the form of a mobile app so that news can be watched from anywhere. The app does not only offer videos, but also the related news articles to each video so that even for those who are interested in reading instead of simply watching the videos are able to do so with ease. Beyond only watching the videos that have been uploaded, Newsy also allows for watching live news from various sources so that viewers can get the latest news possible. Integrating a personalized playlist coupled with notifications on the categories that viewers want to see, a highly personalized experience is provided which makes the app one of the best ones for watching the news.
Another popular source of news is via radio and podcasts where listeners consume the news through audio as opposed to videos and reading. One of the best apps that leverages this notion is CastBox which allows its listeners to access news radio stations from around the world. Beyond news, the app also offers podcasts and audiobooks so that anybody who is interested in consuming information through an audio format can do so. A feature that is extremely useful is the ability to download the various files to be stored offline so that even if the listener is not connected to the internet, they are able to listen to their favourite news stations or audiobooks. Based on what users listen to, CastBox will also recognize the various categories and make smart, curated suggestions so that they can get relevant news stations that the listener is interested in. With all of these features, the app is a great tool for passive consumption of news whether when the listener is driving or working.
Although reading the news can be regarded as boring, a new way to consume the news can be done through Flipboard which breaks the blocks of text into smaller, more consumable chunks that also integrates more images and animations. Despite having the same content as other news sources, the way in which the news is presented is what differentiates Flipboard from the other news tools. By introducing more images and a different way of reading the news, the traditional mundane nature of reading a lot of text is effectively broken down into smaller sections to make it more interesting. With news sources in every category and the ability to save favourites, readers can quickly access news articles that they are interested in. With so many news articles available that can also be saved for offline viewing, Flipboard is a great tool that deviates from traditional news interfaces.
More often than not, emergency services get news updates much quicker than most news sources do. For this reason, Police Scanner is an app that lets users listen in on various emergency services such as ambulance, firefighters, and police radios. In being able to do so, listeners get the ability to be as updated as these emergency services on breaking news before the media and often in more detailed reports. By being able to choose the geographic location as well as the specific department, users from around the world are able to listen to their local radios as well as other radios from around the world. In the wake of devastating storms that have swept across Mexico and the United States, Police Scanner is one that is highly recommended as listeners are able to be informed about the developments of the storm almost instantly, having the potential to save lives.
Given the number of news apps that are available, the ones listed in this article do not just present the news in various formats, but also introduces various differentiating features such as audio, video, or animated news stories. Although traditional news consumption is regarded as boring, these apps ensure that news can be consumed in a more interesting and efficient way.