Most Favorite Social - News Apps For Your Smartphone – November 2012

12/6/2012 9:17:55 AM

1.    Tweetbot for Twitter

Price: $3

Phone: Apple.

Tablet: Apple

Twitter clients are something of a personal preference, but there’s one that wins near universal approval from the iOS users of PC Pro. Tweetbot doesn’t do anything hugely novel few Twitter clients do – but it does make the basic experience as smooth, stylish and painless as any we’ve used. It can turn your Twitter lists into multiple timelines and sync your reading position across devices, and it’s all navigated with intuitive gestures, keeping the clutter of so many clients to a minimum. We also like the cartoonishly sinister company logo.

Description: Tweetbot for Twitter

Tweetbot for Twitter

2.    TweakDeck

Price: Free.

Phone: Android.

Tablet: Android

TweetDeck’s purchase by Twitter has stunted its mobile development, but Android developer MoDaCo takes up the slack with TweakDeck (“rising from the ashes of that other app”). On the surface it’s similar, but it adds compatibility with a host of photo services and support for more devices. It’s unfussy, clean and competent, and that makes it our favourite for Android.

3.    Google+

Price: Free.

Phone: Apple, Android.

Tablet: Apple, Android

Don’t laugh – we know there are more people using Commodore 64s than Google+, but the company’s app is the nicest of the social networks. The image-led layout gives it a modern feel, and its Hangouts work neatly with a phone or tablet camera. If you’re not yet on Google+, or if you are and haven’t logged in for a while, try the app – it might convert you.

4.    Storify

Price: Free.

Tablet: Apple

Twitter is where people go to discuss live events, but how do you later look back on the event as it unfolded? With Storify you create edited highlights of events as told on social networks – just drag and drop posts from people in your timeline to form a coherent narrative that can be saved and published under its own URL. It also accepts videos from YouTube or photos from Flickr and Instagram.

5.    Quora

Price: Free.

Phone: Apple, Android

Quora is a social network for questions and answers: post any query you like, and if people deem it interesting they’ll post responses, which other users then up or down vote. How useful Quora can be naturally depends on who sees your questions, so the app dovetails with Facebook and Twitter. Even if you don’t have a question to ask, browsing topics quickly becomes an addictive time sink.

Description: Quora is a social network for questions and answers

Quora is a social network for questions and answers

6.    The Guardian & Eyewitness

Price: From $15/mth; free

Tablet: Apple

Unlike the smartphone versions, the Guardian iPad app is a full-on digital conversion of the daily paper. Your opinion on the content may vary, but in design, layout and navigation, it’s the best we’ve read. Plus, even if the paper’s politics aren’t to your taste, the free Guardian Eyewitness app offers stunning daily photography updates. If your iPad has a Retina display, you’re in for quite a treat.

7.    Instapaper

Price: From $2.9.

Phone: Apple, Android.

Tablet: Apple, Android

Install the Read Later bookmark on your browser, and whenever you come across an interesting article while you’re busy at work, just click to send it to Instapaper. The service then strips out the page furniture and stores it for reading later. We know Instapaper is far from new, but its feature list is growing, with support for all the major Twitter clients and social news apps, such as Zite. However, if you’d prefer a free app, there’s always the highly polished Readability.

8.    Longform

Price: $2.5.

Tablet: Apple

This year has seen a surge in the appeal of longform writing, with all manner of curated print periodicals and websites popping up with the kind of in depth, intelligent articles that don’t really fit the quick-fire internet. The Longform iPad app acts as a repository for such pieces, collating the best from various (mostly American) sources. It also connects to Instapaper and Readability.

Description: The Longform iPad

The Longform iPad app aggregates editors’ picks of long form journalism from, as well as long stories from 25 sites known for such work, including The Atlantic, Slate, Mother Jones, and Esquire.  

9.    The Verge

Price: Free.

Phone: Apple, Android

We’re happy to praise other quality tech sites, and they don’t come much better than The Verge. With its finger on the pulse of the gadget scene, the site is a mix of product news and reviews, plus imaginative feature pieces, and its smartphone app is one of the neatest around.

10.  Zite

Price: Free.

Phone: Apple, Android, Window.

Tablet: Apple, Android

Personalised news is something many apps attempt, but Zite manages it better than most. By selecting your categories, then spending the first few weeks rating the stories you’re offered as relevant to you or not, Zite gradually evolves into a news gatherer that works to your interests. It can be a little overzealous don’t go liking too many articles from the same source unless you want your homepage swamped by it but if rated sparingly, it’s a great news-reading and sharing tool.

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