Newstream Review

Our Review by Jennifer Allen on November 1st, 2011
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE YET SHALLOW
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Newstream offers the personalized newspaper experience but with some strange feature omissions.

Developer: Amazing Softworks
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

I'm not entirely sure how I managed to survive without my Google Reader account keeping track of the many RSS feeds that interest me. Previously, I was too lazy to set anything up like that as it always meant keeping track of awkward RSS Feed links. Newstream, interestingly, has dispensed with the Google Reader sync method that's favored by the likes of Feedly and Reeder. Instead, users are back to using RSS URLs or they can always search via keywords, also.

It's a little strange to see an app omit such important functionality and unfortunate too. Newstream provides all the simplicity an user who just wants to read could want. Everything is simple and fast to use with swipe actions forming much of the basis of the controls behind the app. RSS Feed updates are extremely fast to load so users can get right into reading all the latest news.

However, there's always that return to the functionality of the app, or should I say the lack of it. Each story is displayed in a newspaper style interface akin to The Early Edition 2 that's easy to browse. Such a clean interface is ideal for those who just want to focus on reading, veering away from all the fancy frivolity that could have been included. It comes at a price though, with no bylines viewable from within the app. Also, while there is a form of reading articles later, there's no Instapaper support which would have been convenient.

Sharing options are there, either via email or through Facebook or Twitter but that's as complex as it gets for Newstream. It's a double edged sword. I can see why some would like its simplistic interface, if they took the time to transfer all their RSS feed links manually to the app. However, it just doesn't feel as feature rich and subsequently as good value for money as other apps.

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