Monday, 18 February 2013

In Summly, I'm Feedly My Current FlipBoard While Checking My Pulse

For today's blog post, I thought that I would do something a little bit different. So I am going to review some apps. I've decided that I am going to review feeders. It made sense, I am moving into journalism and I want to be able to access the latest news from as many different organisations as possible.

Google Currents

The first app I tried was Google Currents. Straight away I logged in to my Google account (the dark overlord that tracks our porn) and the blogs that I was subscribed to were there, also quite a few suggestions for other feeds, I very easily add what felt like a million feeds.
The design is very clean and professional, it feels like an app that I can use in the office and the boss won't be over my shoulder every five minutes, however (and this is a personal choice) I don't like that I have to swipe while I am reading the article to read more, not a lot of info is put onto the page.
All said and done, it does do what it says on the tin, it's not a bad app


Imagine if you will, the new guy in the office who is young and talented but in a few months time his soul will be crushed by the corporate snakes and he will lose faith in humanity. Feedly is like that new guy, before the soul crushing. Feedly has a much better layout and design then currents and it is quite easy to find what you are looking for.
Under the bonnet there are a few good options to customize the app to your liking. Feedly follows the rule of content is king, the colorful designs are there, but they are hidden in the menus, to allow for more space for the feeds that you want to read. I also like the fact that YouTube videos are embedded into the app, although I would like to be able to sign in to my YouTube account to view my subscription.


I like things that are flippy, FlipBoard satisfies that need. The child in me spent about 10 minutes messing with the animation. They have clearly thought about the design although personally I don't like drawstring used to access the search menu. 
I like that I can connect to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, however I do wish that I could update my accounts from the app, also the Facebook annoying only shows ten updates at a time and takes a good minute or so to download more and one of my friends post takes up a whole screen, there is miles of space that the app wastes. However the bigger design suits twitter and makes it more visually pleasing, however it is not practical for what twitter was designed for. I do wish that i could update my timeline or twitter feed from the app.


Pulse could have been really good, it has been let down by it design, the main page looks as if it has been copied from the BBC News app, the only difference is that it has been painted black instead of red. The rest feels soulless and devoid of life and passion. However it does load that content quickly.
But then we get to Facebook integration, it not automatically there, (I signed in with my Facebook account) you have to search for the feed and then add it to your contents, but once you've done that, it will only let you view posts that have links on them, which to me devoid the point of the whole feed.


Let's start with the good points, visually it is the design equivalent of the best XXX rated app porn, you can also search for content by keywords, so you can find news on certain subject or in a certain area of the world. But it takes forever to update and I think that there are far to many swipe commands. 
It also crashed three times during the first start up and twice again during my testing. I really want Summly to be good, I used to have it, before the October update, and I really hoped that it was improved. Sadly it wasn't.

For me it's between Currents and Feedly, they are designed and easy to use, although Feedly is slightly deeper than Currents. The both follow the rule of content is king and don't distract the reading experience with bells and whistles. I think Feedly swings the balance into its favor, but I would love to see social interaction in the form of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks like LinkedIn and Google+.

How did I do on my first app review? Do you agree with my verdict? Did I miss any good apps? Should I do another post like this? If so, how can I make it better?

Follow me on twitter @tomnnedsmore


  1. Good job! Snappy writing and straight to the point. It gives a nice sense of you, as well. My only question is- why are there no illustrative photos and why is my laptop screen not re-sizing; forcing me to scroll horizontally to read the text?

    1. Hey Brenda, I replied to the comment that you left on my Google+ page.