Nowadays news moves fast, and to keep up with it you need the right software. I'm here to tell you that Nextgen Reader by Next Matters for Windows 8 is the best tool for the job. With an elegant Microsoft modern design, array of customizable features, and support for a variety of external applications – it hits all the sweet spots. Get the full review after the break.
Let’s take a detailed look at the client's design, functionality, and value to see what really makes it shine.
The application’s interface is simple, yet beautiful. A list of your subscriptions are displayed on the left hand side in a column that can be minimized to save screen real-estate. Users can easily jump between individual subscription sources, all sources, and “starred items”.
On my Microsoft Surface RT the application can fit the latest eight news stories on my screen, while on my 22 inch 1600 x 900 display it fits twelve. Each news listing shows the originating source, post title, and time the posting was pushed. If a title is shorter than two lines, the application will begin to show the first sentence of the post.
The right hand of the screen is devoted to showing the current article you have selected. The viewer displays content while sustaining the original formatting of the post and image placement. Quick access to view the content on the web, share with friends, star as a favorite, or mark as read/unread is readily available.
Features and functionality of Nextgen Reader are really what bring the application to life. On the front end, you can select if the app shows content summarized, as the full article, or as the original webpage.
Users can choose between a light or dark theme and an accent color. In the screenshots you are seeing in this review, I am using the light theme with a dark orange accent. If being able to select the theme and accent color aren’t enough, you can also select the font family (Segoe UI, Calibri, Cambria, or Verdana), font size, and text alignment (left or justified).
The mobilizer for articles can also be chosen when rendering content; the default is readability, but instapaper and Google mobilizer (with or without images) can also be selected. Nextgen Reader also likes to play nice with others; you can connect to 3rd party services like Pocket (For a great Windows Pocket client check out our review on "Pouch", here).
A fountain of additional options are also included in Settings such as the ability to open content links in an external browser, show favicons, mark articles as read when opened, and more. Users can also set the number of articles to sync and save for later.
The client was previously powered on the backend by Google Reader, but will now be powered by and synced to Feedly; the update to enable this transition was recently pushed and should be available now in the app store.
Live tiles support is also enabled to bring the latest blog updates to your Start screen - like all applications, the live tile can be disabled if you wish not to use it.
The feature list for Nextgen Reader creates a fully featured application that is ready to handle all the news you can throw at it.
[UPDATE] We forgot to mention the great modern style UI viewing mode. You can view the video below!
Nextgen Reader currently sells for $2.99 on the Microsoft app store; with its large feature set, stability, and customizability – it is definitely worth it. The folks over at Next Matters are always churning out updates for their software and there is never a feeling that a bug will go unnoticed or a feature opportunity missed.
Overall, I couldn’t recommend Nextgen Reader any more highly than I currently do. I see little room for improvement with an app that is so close to perfection. Add on the fact that Next Matters makes a nearly identical version of Nextgen for all Windows Phone devices, and you have a new best friend whether you are at your desk or on the go. Download Nextgen Reader now from the Windows 8 and Windows Phone app stores – I give it a ten out of ten (Please Note: This decision did not come lightly; I spent hours trying to find something wrong with Nextgen Reader - I failed).
- You can download Nextgen Reader for Windows 8 here.
- You can click here or scan the QR code below to download Nextgen Reader for Windows Phone 8 ($1.99, 14 MB).
Enjoy and let us know what you think!