Features & Use
Information overload overwhelms our brains on a daily basis. Whether it’s through television, newspapers, magazines, the internet, apps or billboards – news and information is constantly being imposed on us from all directions. So it’s not always easy to extract the news stories that interest you from the cacophony of different pundits and articles. None of us have the time to sift through the pages and pages of news sources. And that’s exactly where News Republic comes in.
The app’s concept is simple and brilliant. Using the app you can search for specific keywords based on your areas of interest i.e. android, Europe, politics, smartphone or television. News Republic takes it upon itself to search through various online media sources (newspapers, blogs, news wires etc.) and creates a list with all the relevant articles. All of your personal interest articles are then stored in your “my News” section. The other two sections, “Top News” and “All News” do not filter the information, but offer a more general overview of the day’s most important current events. In “Top News” you can also view videos, which is a big plus.
Unlike most other news apps, News Republic doesn’t just provide you with links to the original articles. All of the articles can be read in their entirety directly from the app! This can be especially useful if you have a slow internet connection or limited data plan. It’s just extremely comfortable to be able to access all your news in one window. Cool beans! Obviously, not all of the articles can be viewed in their original formatting, but they’re still readable, which is the most important criteria. Even photographs are usually perfectly integrated into the body of the text. Photos can be enlarge with one click or gradually using multitouch. At the end of the article you’ll find three options:
- Share (via SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter etc.)
- Save (for offline access)
You can switch between the articles by simply swiping across the screen. In addition, you can determine the content based on your location (e.g. US vs. UK) and adjust the update interval.
Where there is praise, there is also criticism: As great of a concept News Republic may have, the app also comes with a couple drawbacks. Here’s an example: Say you create an category called Android filled with articles that mention Android as a keyword. The problem is that your feed could be filled with unrelated articles about iPhones that mention Android in passing. So the categories you create aren’t going to be perfect in terms of accuracy.
Bottom Line: News Republic isn’t perfect, but it definitely saves you a lot of time by filtering your news. I use the app regularly to keep myself informed on the latest developments spanning all of my personal interests.
Screen & Controls
Not exactly beautiful, but good enough. That’s the best way to sum up what News Republic looks like. The three main news categories Top News, All News and my News can be accessed using the buttons at the bottom of the screen. At the top of the screen, you can access the options, update the news updates and search for specific keywords. The news lists are clearly laid out and the topic cloud (the red button at the top right) is a fun and creative way to present the news. Personally, I would get rid of the pictures in the category icons to make the whole screen look a bit more tidy.
Speed & Stability
News Republic did a great job in this respect. All of the animations are smooth and it takes a split millisecond to load an article. I did, however, experience a drastic slow-down while using the app after which it suddenly crashed. But, thankfully, that has never happened since.