Version Reviewed: 1.4
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
Hourly News is a very straightforward app that does one thing very well. It makes it extremely easy to play the recent news updates from some of the most popular and prominent news sources. Although the audio is freely available from the news companies, the ease of just pressing play it is well worth its $0.99 price tag.
All users have to do is select which sources they want to hear news from in the settings and then press play. Hourly News takes care of retrieving the audio and playing it continuously. Swiping brings up a different source and the order of the sources can also be modified. The only news sources are short, daily, or hourly news updates, so don’t expect longer form content.
There are 11 sources of hourly news from a wide variety of different news sources. Of course there is the radio news staple NPR, but many television news networks, like ABC, Fox, and CBS, also have short daily newscasts. Obviously only larger organizations have the resources to put out news so regularly, so all of the sources are from large and reputable sources. British users will like that the BBC is included and Canadians aren’t left out since the CBC is there, too. Sports fans can even select ESPN as a source.
The user interface for Hourly News is as clean and simple as it possibly could be. The name of the source, date, and time is centered towards the top of the screen and there is a large play/pause button below that. At the very bottom of the screen is a time slider for skipping and rewinding. The audio will continue playing even if the screen is locked, and the iOS music controls that are accessible by double tapping the home screen work with Hourly News.
The big question is whether or not Hourly News is better than a regular podcast app. In my opinion, definitely because it makes getting frequent news updates very easy and quick. It is much more efficient to use Hourly News than to manually manage all the different news sources in a podcast app.