Reading news and articles on the go is a huge benefit to having a Windows Phone. These days there are a bewildering array of website specific apps, RSS readers, read it later clients and even tailored magazine apps to help sift through and read it all.
When mobile, being able to quickly check and access posts, articles and features from all your favourite websites can be tricky. One of the popular ways to pull all this content into one stream is by using the Google Reader service. NewsSpot is a slick Google Reader client for our Windows Phone that is due to receive an update towards the end of September that will bring some nice new features to the app. We had a chance to check out the latest beta of this popular client.
If you are an avid follower of the news like we are, having a fast, efficient and intelligent client for showing the latest news is necessary. For myself, I have a huge number of websites that I follow through Google Reader, idea being that I have one place that I can quickly check to see new articles and posts. Allowing me to sort, save and triage the articles that are important to me quickly and easily, especially when I am out and about with only my humble Windows Phone.
NewsSpot is a mature Google Reader app, currently at version 2.6 in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The application itself has its own two-way synchronisation engine, which means it intelligently syncs all your read or unread content on a per item basis rather than synchronising entire lists of articles every time you use the app. What this means in practice is the app feels super-fast at synchronising, leaving you to get on with enjoying the content.
Good clean design work throughout the app. Modern UI fully respected.
NewsSpot also has a readability view, which helps format articles to make them easier to read on your Smartphone. NewsSpot already does a good job of presenting articles anyway but the readability view can help format articles even more to ensure they are easy on your eyes. Your articles are also cached so that you can read them offline, an invaluable feature if you’re on a plane, underground train or just somewhere without coverage. After all, that’s the time when you’ll need some offline entertainment the most.
I have been lucky enough to be on the beta for the next version of the application, which I can report, has some very nice additions.
- Expanded sharing options allow the saving of articles to Delicious, Evernote and Pocket
- Improved Live Tile support to include article counts and summaries and improved application artwork.
In use, I have found NewsSpot to be excellent, using silky smooth scrolling and it adheres properly to the Metro/Modern UI of Windows Phone. I really like that I can pin a live tile for sites I’m most interested in to the home screen with full control over what information is displayed on the tile and background.
Sharing options include Delicious, Evernote, Facebook, Instapaper and Pocket...
The synchronisation setting are also worthy of note allowing good, granular control over how many articles to keep, whether to sync the images in the articles and all kinds of good wholesome stuff. The app will also run a background task and allow for toast notifications as well. What more could you ask for? The full app is only UK £1.49 or US $1.99 and the trial version allows you to use and sync up to 200 unread articles whilst the full fat version allows 1000 articles.
If you are looking for a good solid Windows Phone Google Reader app, you should definitely take NewsSpot for a test drive. Its really rather good!