App.net is a social network and a platform for applications – a network of independently developed apps – that members can choose between. Depending on your preferred method of connecting to App.net, there is an app for you. This series will showcase the variety of apps you can use.
App.news is a new iOS app built by @informationaddicts that got added to the App.net Directory (also found in the App.net Passport iOS app) last week and it caught our eye because it provided a new (news) experience for App.net members. It filters out all of the shared links to news articles on App.net and puts them in one spot for easy browsing. You can choose to view articles in the Global stream, by hashtag or just read the articles shared in your ‘My Stream’ feed.
When you click on the article from the ‘stream’ view it will show you which account(s) shared the article and to help with browsing, they provide a small excerpt of the article so you can decide if it warrants reading the whole thing. From this page you can either continue reading the article or use a right-to-left swipe to scroll through the other articles in this preview screen. If you do choose to read the article you can either view on the web by clicking the little ‘eye’ shaped icon at the top of the screen or read the full text/mobile friendly version by clicking on the ‘list’ icon next to it.
The app’s settings page lets you set your preference for ‘Accepted article languages’ as well as set a default email address so you can email an article to yourself for reading later or send it to a friend.
This brings us to the other sharing options for App.news. As mentioned above, you can choose to email the article but you can also post it to App.net, copy the URL for sharing elsewhere, view it in Safari or hook up your other social media accounts for easy sharing.
App.news is one of the first ADN apps to experiment with an alternative business model. It’s free to download and use but you can upgrade to the ad-free version via in-app purchase for $2.99. Even though App.net has promised to be an ad-free platform, we have always been open to apps using this business model and think that there is a place for them in the ADN app ecosystem.
App.news is certainly a very clever concept and a great new way of consuming content on App.net. The developers have done a nice job out of the gate and we hope to see more from them in the future.