Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
iPhone Integration [rating:4/5]
User Interface [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4/5]
There are plenty of news readers for varying publications, most of them free. There's mobile Safari. There are RSS readers. So why buy a dedicated news feed reader, with a limited selection of sites?
Those are good criticisms, true, but there's also a reason why News Fuse is one of the top News apps. As the name suggests, it "fuses" news from a variety of sources, including the New York Times, USA Today, Yahoo News, and quite a few more—and while many of those sources have their own dedicated iPhone applications, most of them share a common flaw: crashes and lagging. (I still shudder to remember my experiences with the Tech Crunch app.) News Fuse, on the other hand, emphasizes speed, availability, and convenience.
The little newspaper icon at the bottom brings up the site selection menu, which is itself minimal; it merely consists of a menu of icons. And that's really it to the app's interface. The sites displayed are obviously the mobile versions of each site—so why can't the official apps do this? You can easily set your "favorite" (i.e., the default) news source, and the app makes every effort to stay out of your way. Getting rid of the interface is as easy as shaking your iPhone.
There aren't any fancy features like caching or downloading stories for later reading, but I rely on Read It Later for that. In the end, News Fuse doesn't do much that Safari can't—but it offers a streamlined, speedy interface. It's clear that it was designed for a specific purpose, and it strips out all unnecessary functions and clutter. If you're a frequenter of multiple news sites who's tired of juggling bookmarks and remembering mobile site addresses, this one's for you. My only request? More sites, please! There's no such thing as too many choices. And while things like downloading pages would be nice, I still prize this app for its quickness.
Here's the list of supported sites, in full:
- LA Times
- NY Times
- Washington Post
- Chicago Tribune
- USA Today
- CBS News
- ABC News
- BBC News
- Fox News
- Yahoo! News