June 2, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The first question I asked when I received my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was “What are the best tablet apps?” I’ve yet to narrow down that selection because there’s quite a bit of ground to cover. However, I have managed to at least figure out what are the best news apps for Android Honeycomb tablets. To be honest, it was quite easy since the number of news options are limited and not as robust as what’s seen on the iPad (I’d kill to get Flipboard on Android!)
That doesn’t mean you still can’t keep up with the latest news on your Honeycomb tablets. Below is a list of the best Android tablet news apps for following the happenings in Android, entertainment, fashion, politics, sports, and more. Screenshots, short descriptions, and download links are available for each app. Enjoy and feel free to add suggestions for other great Android news apps in the comments section. We just may have to update this post with some convincing.
Among the many options for linking to a Google Reader account, Newsr remains the most faithful to what someone would expect an official Google Reader Honeycomb app to look like. Newsr uses the fragments design simplicity to show categories > headlines > articles. Newsr provides about half of the screen for navigation and the other half for reading RSS feeds with the same formatting one would expect from GReader. There’s also an option to read through an in-app browser or launch the official browser. Newsr provides simple controls for starring, sharing, and marking as read/unread, so download this if you want the news without too much design distraction.
There are thousands of newspapers and digital outlets available on the web. Most of them are probably in News360, an amazing app that imports headlines from more than 1,500 sources. Similar to Google News, News360 shows major stories and provides links for dozens of sources – Al Jazeera, BBCNews, LA Times, Reuters, etc. – covering that same issue. It also offers photos from a variety of sources, opens articles using an in-app browser, and lets users customize which topics are highlighted. News360 supports offline reading and a 360 view, two features which make it one of the best Android reading options around. [
There is a variety of ways to present news stories, but none are as enjoyable as Pulse. Stories from Facebook, Google Reader, curated news sources, and trending topics in each category are all organized into neat squares with photos in this highly-visual app. Clicking on a story then loads an optimized view of that article, but users can also go to the original source when necessary. Pulse has easy sharing and customization options, but it sadly limits the amount of feeds that you can import from Google Reader and doesn’t completely sync to the cloud. Still, it makes for one of the best news reading experiences on a tablet thanks its great design, easy sharing, and ability to save items to be read later and synched through Pulse.me.
This is CNN for Android tablets, and it does everything. Aside from having a kick-ass design, CNN has hourly audio updates, and text and video news reports from CNN. The Android Honeycomb app also supports sending in news through iReport, allowing citizens to see or submit photos and videos related to developing stories. It is the best single source option I’ve seen from any news company. [
Feedly doesn’t provide as many organization options as other apps, but it does offer a clean interface, themes, and support for Read It Later or Instapaper. Users can import from Google Reader or browse the recommended feeds, and tap on any headline to see a full-screen view of the article. Saving articles to be read later, liking to recommend to others, and using the Android share function are ways to take the experience beyond your imported Google Reader feeds.
CNBC Real-Time for Android
Don’t end up like Randolph and Mortimer in Trading Places, who were hustled out of their fortune because they didn’t know the market. CNBC provides up-to-date stock info in a scrolling ticker daily graphs to chart performance, and articles from major business news sources. There’s also a special section to track your portfolio or see videos from the network to help decide which stocks should be added or removed from that portfolio. Anyone looking for a good source of market news on their tablet should grab this app.
HoneyReader, as the name implies, is an RSS reader for Honeycomb tablets that links with a Google Reader account. HoneyReader feed categories/folders in separate columns that can be increased in size or customized to have different background colors. This creates a well-organized look of your Reader account, but it sometimes feels clumsy. The sync process for updating feeds can be slow and the app doesn’t let users perform functions while a sync is in progress. While it may look pretty, I’d only recommend this app if you are obsessed with the column display format.
Financial Times (subscription required)
London-based Financial Times is a well-known source for global news with a mostly-business focus. The downside is that the Times requires a paid subscription to get unlimited access or registering for a free account that provides additional access to more news stories. The upside is that the app has a newspaper-like front page design, easy navigation to sections (World News, Markets, Life & Arts, etc.), special videos, and articles with text formatted for large screen reading. If you care as much about industry as you do Android, sign-up for a Financial Times account and download this app.
Taptu fancies itself as a “News DJ” because it provides so many options to mix and match feeds to give a more complete view of what stories are trending on the web. The app imports shared links from Facebook and Twitter, mixes that with curated topics and feeds around a variety of subjects, and brings it all home by linking with Google Reader. Taptu can combine feeds into one stream – Android, Gossip, etc. – and provide an assembly line of updates. If you want a lot of tiles showing a lot of stories, Taptu has you covered.
USA Today doesn’t have as much respect as some other news outlets, but just like the print edition, there’s a much better design available in USA Today Android tablet app. USA Today has an omnipresent window for switching between sections and stories However, readers can also switch to full-screen for more space and scroll through articles formatted into a three-column view. In addition to having articles on News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech, and Travel, USA Today also has special content for each section. There are photo galleries, videos, polls, scores from sports contests, infographics, and much more.