App Reviewed on: iPad
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News based on social media is quickly becoming all the rage. Just look at how apps like Flipboard have soared to unprecedented success by merely making it elegant and fun reading your entire social media stream. Looking to cash in on this success, Sobees is pushing out their own take on the social media magazine with NewsMix.
NewsMix is a combination social media magazine and RSS feed reader. You enter in your Twitter and/or Facebook account to pull in feeds from those sources. There is also the ability to pull down specific RSS feeds, or connect to a Google Reader account for even easier access. Once the app has some feeds, the magazine style feature comes into play. News will be broken down into categories like Politics, Technology, Sports, and so on. Tapping on the specific category takes you to sources dedicated to that genre. The last bit is videos, which play rather well in the app and also come in their own specific category.
Sadly, this is about where the cool features come to an end. I fed in one of my Twitter accounts and was met with mixed results on the categorization aspect. I had photos from friends showing up in the politics section, while status updates popped into the health section. It ultimately made the whole Facebook/Twitter integration almost pointless, as it was a jumbled mess where these feeds ultimately ended up.
Where NewsMix takes a hit is in making this app a beautiful experience. You may be sick of the whole page-flipping mechanic that the iPad has brought on, but it does help make things feel less electronic. NewsMix does make it nice to browse specific categories, but the overall feel of the app just doesn’t work for me. It is hard to shake the feeling that this is a blatant rip-off of the free Flipboard.
Compared to the free alternative that is out there, this feels bloated, less elegant, and not fully ready for primetime. The ability to do something like changing a backdrop, or read news in categories just does not amount to enough substance to justify the price tag. Unless your wallet is burning a hole in your pocket, it is best to save your money on this app.
Tagged with: $2.99, NewsMix, sobees