Exclusive First look: Windows Phone 8 version of NewsSpot
We took a look at NewsSpot back in October when it was last updated, things have now progressed to the point where the app has now reached the lofty heights of version 3.0. With the latest version comes the all-important support for Windows Phone 8.
NewsSpot is a Google Reader client and works hard to help you sort through all that is good and all that needs to be ignored in your quest for relevant content. The app has plenty of Windows Phone 8 specific features in tow, we take a quick look and invite you along for the ride.
If you are unfamiliar with Google Reader we should explain a little of what the service provides. It is possible to subscribe to feeds from websites and view them all in an abbreviated newsfeed. The advantage here is that you don’t need to load multiple pages to scan through all your favourite websites quickly.
When we are mobile it can be tricky to keep up to date with news and so the service is particularly useful here. When a Google Reader client like NewsSpot fires up it grabs all the headlines and allows you to sort through them quickly, getting you to the things that matter quicker. Google do not make a reader app for Windows Phone but as you’ll see that’s of little importance as we have some of the best reader apps on any platform.
Windows Phone 8 has only been out a short while so it’s good to see some developers are keen to incorporate the newest features of the operating system into their apps. NewsSpot has been fully embellished with updated high resolution graphics for the newest screen resolutions. The app already looked very clean and slick before the update so it’s good to see that the look has been left mostly alone, after all it’s the content that matters.
Reading and sharing is fun!
Features that are specific to Windows Phone 8 include full support for fast app resume, Tap To Send via NFC and now lock screen integration. You can see your unread article count and also have the lock screen show images from posts from the last six most recent in your feed. Good stuff indeed and we hope to see these features continue to improve how useful that lock screen can be.
The app also supports the new double wide Windows Phone 8 tiles and that gives the ability to see even more information from feeds at a glance. If you want to go crazy you can pin different feeds to your home screen and put them all into double wide size (which we did for the cover shot).
If you want to share an article then NewsSpot has you covered, you can send things the following ways.
- Copy Link
- Delicious – Private and Public
- Diigo – Private and Public
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (via Windows Phone built in sharing)
- Link Via Email
- Link Via SMS
Go Double Wide on those tiles - yeah
We’re really please to see the progress that is being made with this app and the roll up of Windows Phone 8 features is impressive so shortly after the initial release. Everything about the app oozes class and its quick and responsive to use. The app will hit the Windows Phone Store very shortly so keep an eye out as we’ll do a post as soon as it does.
The app costs US $1.99
The app costs US $1.99 and can checkout the current version from the Windows Phone Store here
Grab the app via QR code below
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in your inbox, every day!
My criteria is simple: live tile opens to the list of unread with thumbnails, next/prev to navigate between articles, and open with ie/send to pocket should be easily accessible. Somehow no apps except WR do these things satisfactorily.
Also WR updated to wp8 and supports voice commands- not enough apps take advantage of that yet.
As for Wonder Reader, its interface is actually notably slower than the competition - obviously it's still fast, but other apps are way faster. I would actually use it if it were faster; sometimes it seems to take an age to start up.
Hello there, I'm the developer of NewsSpot and maybe I can add something to the discussion here.
First, I remember Wonder Reader being covered here on WPCentral just recently. ;)
Second, Wonder Reader and NewsSpot have different approaches when it comes to syncing. As far as I know Wonder Reader takes its data directly from Google every time it starts, which might be a little bit slower in the beginning. However, this approach is pretty fast if you have a lot of articles, since it does not need to load the articles of the whole feed or label or whatsoever, but only the first chunk. When you scroll down then, it continues to load. NewsSpot is quite different in that it syncs all articles and caches them on the phone. Hence syncing in NewsSpot takes more time, but eventually you have your articles on the device and there is no need for an internet connection until you have to sync again.
Anyway, this leads me to my third point: polish and choice:
Windows Phone is such a wonderful system when it comes to Google Readers, Twitter clients and a couple of other areas. I've used both iOS and Android, and both platforms are easily beaten by the level of polish and choice that is present on WP. I mean, people complain a lot about the app situation on WP, and the ecosystem not being able to keep up with Android or iOS. But anyone just name me 5 good working and polished Google Reader clients on iOS and Android. I can not.
(And this is a kudos to all my fellow competitors ;) )
"SHOW IMAGE CAPTIONS"
Great for webcomics which use image captions - xkcd being the prime example, but many others do the same.