Media

News360 iPad app update offers a prettier way to read the news

Digital magazine service News360 launched a revamped version of its iPad app that offers a sleeker design, some refreshing user interface tweaks, and the possibility of stealing eyeballs away from its competitors.

News360 lets its users chose from a vast array of news topics to follow and aggregates favorable content based on user behavior through the app itself as well as social-networking activity. It’s already facing heavy competition from several digital news-magazine tablet readers, including Flipboard, Pulse, Google Current, and Editions by AOL. But News360’s most direct competitor is probably Zite, where users can vote on content and improve its news discovery the more you use the service.

The new version allows you to pull in trends/topics of news from your Twitter hashtags, Facebook likes, and Google+ profile listing. You can also search for custom topics like in previous versions and have everything displayed in a central home screen view. One pleasant addition to the main news view is the capability to treat news items like rectangular cubes, which you can flick up or down. Flicking the article cube reveals a longer version of the text that you can scroll through, and flicking it again shows a menu for bookmarking, voting on the article, and sharing the article through a number of social networks.

You can also select the individual article cube, which makes it take up the entire screen. The article text and images are displayed in a News360 reader, with a small portion of the article’s original website shown below. I wasn’t able to view more than the small portion of the website without first clicking through to the in-app web browser. I’m guessing this is a bug. If you don’t like the article’s source, News360 provides you will several other alternative news outlets that covered the same story. This is certainly useful for finding the best version of an article, but honestly, I’m not sure how often average, passive news readers will really use this.

You can download the updated News360 iPad app today for free via iTunes. Check out the demo video below for a closer look at the app’s updated look and feel.