Welcome to our weekly column where we aim to help users find new applications for their Android smartphones and/or tablets. Called Five for Friday, these are small collection of apps or games centered around a common theme.
While we recognize that there are going to miss a bunch of titles or appear to have a partially completed list, that’s hardly the case. Rather, these are just five apps that we’ve picked to get you going in the right direction.
We understand that each of you is unique and typically have your own preferred apps for various tasks. For this reason, we ask that you add your titles to the comments below. This way other Android users can discover the stuff that we may overlook or omit.
This week’s topic: News and RSS readers
Keeping up with websites, blogs, and news outlets is pretty tough stuff if you don’t have the right tools. And while there are plenty of ways to manage things efficiently and cleanly on a desktop, the same could not always be said of mobile. Fortunately, the last few years have given way to some pretty sharp Android apps that put a twist on traditional news and rss readers. Here’s a collection of five fun and fresh news rss and news apps for Android smartphones and tablets.
Keep your news in a clean and clutter-free layout with this new Android app. After finding success with iOS devices, Flud recently came to Android smartphones and will soon grace tablets as well. Find and share news across a variety of topics and sources including your favorite blogs and outlets. Keep an eye on what your friends are up to with the Activity Feed or share your favorite articles over social networks, email, and more. We love the easy setup and immediate integration with Google Reader, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Extra credit for the ability to read articles offline making this one sharp app to have on the daily commute. Here’s to hoping for an equally impressive tablet design in the near future!
Here’s our hands-on demonstration of Flud for Android
One of the first of its kind to see Android 3.X Honeycomb support, it has been a favorite of ours for keeping up with various websites and blogs. We’re big fans of the optimized layout and and split-screen summary display for articles, but we love being able to open directly into web browser. Offline sync keeps things up-to-date for those long road trips or daily subway rides. Additional features include multiple pages for large volumes of feeds, integration with Google Reader, Read it Later, and much more. Once you get hooked on the sliding rows and tiles you will have a hard time reading news any other way.
Google’s official way of handling magazines, news sources, blogs, and other outlets, it’s among the best. Thanks to working relationships with publishers such as Forbes, Popular Science, Good, and Fast Company, the Publisher Editions really shine with videos, photography, slideshows, live-maps, and more. Updated hourly, Currents will keep a list of items trending across Google and deliver them in categories such as world, entertainment, sports, and science. As you would expect, integration with Google Reader is a breeze and turns your feeds into a magazine-like experience. Toss in some offline reading and you can see why we’re in love with Google Currents.
- Developer: Mobiles Republic
- Available for Android 1.5+ smartphones, Android tablets, Kindle Fire
- Cost: FREE
Recently updated to a 2.0 design, this is one of the more customizable news apps we’ve encountered along the way. We love the ability to set alerts for specific topics and seeing them arrive on our notification bar, like an instantly-delivered Google Alert. Thousands of news sources with multiple angles on the same stories ensures you get every side of the situation. When done reading a story make sure to share your mood on the topic or share it across your social network(s). For those of you into the geekier tech side of things, the developers have an equally impressive APPY Geek worth exploring. Gossip lovers and entertainment hounds are also encouraged to check out Glam Life.
- Developer: News360 LLC
- Available for Android 2.2+ smartphones, Android tablets, Kindle Fire, Google TV
- Cost: FREE
More than 10,000 different news sources from around the world help make this one of our favorite apps to install across multiple devices. Bonus points are awarded for Google TV optimization as not too many developers have embraced the platform. Features include personalized news based on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ accounts, GPS-based local coverage, and the ability to search quickly from links to companies and brands.
What app(s) did we not mention above that are still worth sharing? List them and some of the reasons you really enjoy using each so that other Android users can discover their next favorite app.