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Category Archives: App – News/Sport

METROREADER – UK NEWS [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (71%)

MetroReader – UK News is a newspaper downloader released by Andrews Technology Limited.

“The Metro is the UK’s largest free daily newspaper and the third biggest newspaper in the country. Launched in London in 1999, it now prints approximately 1.3 million copies daily and is distributed to commuters in 50 cities. With this app you can download each day’s edition to your Touchpad as a PDF file, to read at any time.”

When you open the app you are giving a list of available Metro newspapers to download and you can tap on one of these to look at small previews of the pages. You can tap onto a page for a larger preview, however, the larger preview is a bit too blurred to read, which is a bit of a shame as that could have made for a really fast online reading solution. 

The user interface is simple, with the issues on the left hand side and then the preview pages in the main view. You simply tap the pages you want, all click the all button, and then download.

One issue with MetroReader is the download process. You select the pages you wish to read and then click download. The download will take a little time, maybe 5-10 seconds per page selected. Then the application opens Adobe reader which then takes a minute or two to fully open and cache the first few pages. Not what I would call a quick and easy reading experience. The first time Adobe opened for me, the pages failed to open correctly with an error message, getting me to close down the Reader app and then reopen.

There is an iOS newstand application by Metro themselves and it may take longer to download the application, but the reading experience is much better.

On the upside:

  • Nice User Interface.
  • Easy to preview a newspaper to see if it is worth reading anything.
  • Good for downloading for offline reading during the day.

On the downside:

  • Better sources of news out there, like Zite etc.
  • Content download is not great, I would have liked the downloaded file opening within the app rather than swapping to adobe reader.

Overall, this is useful application especially for UK readers who are lacking an real newspaper applications. It has its advantages and disadvantages at the moment, with a few tweaks it could be a good application. It is a shame that the PDF needs to be handle by Adobe Reader, as it does not make the best job at showing the newpaper.

Rating: 71%

Size: 1.8 MB

Price (at time of review): Free

Link: MetroReader – UK News – Andrews Technology Limited

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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in App - News/Sport, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

ZITE PERSONALIZED MAGAZINE [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (87%)

Zite is a personalised feed reader released by Zite.

“Zite is a free personalized magazine for your TouchPad that automatically learns what you like and gets smarter every time you use it. Zite delivers all the great news, articles, blogs, and videos you want—and helps you discover new stuff that you’ll love.”

When you open the app you are giving a list of categories to select from. Once you have selected these Zite will gather the information from the various feeds that it pulls from and builds a virtual magazine of articles for you to read.

You can also link Zite to your Twitter, Delicious or Read It Later accounts to help build a better magazine for you.

Each of the categories are show as seperate sections, however, you will also be given a Top Stories section. This is based on the categories you selected to start with, but will start to use your reading habits to continue building on it.

The sections normally contain eight to ten pages of articles with around five articles on each of the pages. The page will show the headlight or the image from the story, it will also show in small font the hours since it was posted and the source of the article.

Tap on the article and it pulls up a new card which you can read then and there, or leave and continue looking through the main Zite sections.

The reading experience is generally good, there is a web link if you wish to see on the source website. On the side of the article page is the personalisation side of Zite were if becomes different from other readers.

You can select if you liked the article or not, if you want more from that source or writer (if known) and then the tags of the articles, so if you are looking at a Touchpad article you will get options like Touchpad, webOS etc.

The user interface is very nice. I would have liked some more options or preferences within Zite, but you do have some control over text and font.

I have used the Zite application on iOS and this application is very similar indeed to that experience.

One issue with Zite Top Stories section is that it tries to be too clever at times. Once it learnt something from your selection it keeps long term, and you cannot get it to forget it. If you give looking at a section, but had clicked on some sources or tags in the past Zite will still feed you the information. You need to tell it you hate the articles to get rid of them. (Not so great if you had the Pets feed and your dog dies…)

On the upside:

  • Nice User Interface
  • Great Personalisation on offer.

On the downside:

  • Lacking preferences, I would have liked to have been able to clear Zites “learning”.
  • Zite controls the content you see, so you may miss something by not looking at the feeds.

Overall, this is a great way to look at lots of information on the internet without being overwhelmed. I like to keep up to date with Tech and Gadget news and this application could help me do it. I would like to be able to edit the learning Zite makes, but in the main it functions well. If you like to personalise your reading Zite is well worth a download, especially as it is Free.

Rating: 87%

Size: 2.8 MB

Price (at time of review): Free

Link: Zite Personalized Magazine – Zite

 
 

SPORTS LIVE HD [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (70%)

Sports Live HD is a sports tracking application released by More Solutions, LLC.

“Enjoy the award-winning Sports Live! app on the big screen of your HP TouchPad! Sports Live! HD brings you a full scoreboard, real-time ticker and instant alerts for your favorite sports teams in 12 professional and college sports.”

This application is designed to allow you to track your favorite sports and teams and see live score information as the match is going on.

You are able to select from mostly US based sports, but International Football and Premier League football (English and Scottish) are covered.

If you are a fan of American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey will find this application a bit more useful.

You can add the sports you are interested in and also set teams as your favorites.

As far and the information returned it is a little limited. You can see the live scores or the upcoming games for that day only (no back history here) and then the scores will update as the game progresses. You can also see a feed from twitter when people tweeting about the match, however, this is based of the hash tags, so often totally off topic depending on the hash tag of your teams, our seeing dozens of GOAL! tweets.

There is a live chat option to, but this needs a seperate account.

Option wise, you can set up a lot of refresh options and alerts.

The user interface is clean and easy to use.

On the upside:

  • Clean user interface.
  • Good use of the notifications if you want to minimise during matches.

On the downside:

  • Lack of UK based sports.
  • Twitter feed is near useless.
  • Nothing you could not get from a good sports website.

Overall, this a reasonable sports application, but really looks like it will be fair more useful in the U.S. market. There is not enough options for UK sport, and I personally feel that the BBC website offers a lot more information than this application. The notification side is useful, as long as you remember a match is on.

Rating: 70%

Size: 16.6 MB

Price (at time of review): £3.98

Link: Sports Live! HD – More Solutions, LLC

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in App - News/Sport, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

GUARDIAN ZEITGEIST [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (77%)

Guardian Zeitgeist is a news feed application released by Guardian News and Media.

This application basically pulls in information from the guardian.co.uk website.

So why would you use this app instead of just opening web browse and looking on the web?

Well, it is a nice app and allows you to browse the stories and articles in a nicely layouted out and easy to use.

The articles have a clean display and have no annoying adverts or other distractions around them

Option wise, you can tweet, facebook or email the article out of the application.

On the upside:

  • Nice way to find and read Guardian news stories.
  • Clean user interface.

On the downside:

  • You will not find all the stories here, just a few select stories for each section.
  • I would have liked an export option to read later (like instapaper)

Overall, this a solid application and for users in the UK news apps for the Touchpad are pretty thin on the ground at the moment. This application will certainly fill that gap for now and best of all it is free.

Rating: 77%

Size: 32.4 MB

Price (at time of review): Free

Link: Guardian Zeitgeist – Guardian News and Media

 

DISCOVER – WIKIPEDIA IN A MAGAZINE – REVIEW (7.5/10)

Discover is an iPad application that browses Wikipedia and returns the information in a magazine format, it is released by Cooliris, Inc.

The basic idea of this application is to show you Wikipedia information in a magazine type format. It takes the existing information puts it into several pages, you can flip through.

You will need to be connected to the internet to make any use of this application, as it needs to connect to Wikipedia, there is no offline contents in this application.

Several other applications do similar thing to this one, and all work much the same way.

When I loaded the app for the first time I was impressed to see a news header at the bottom on the portrait mode for an up to date story I wanted to know about and so I clicked on that. The story of the day may not be of interest to you, so I suggest changing to a random article in the iPads setting page.

On the upside:
a) A nice way to read Wikipedia
b) Excellent user interface makes it easy to navigate (once you have learnt the interface.)

On the downside:
a) You will more than likely have to do searches to find something interesting most of the time.
b) The layout can be a little poor on some articles, but in most cases it is fine.
c) Loading times can be an issue sometimes.

Overall, this is a nice way to search Wikipedia and view it. Sometimes the layout works, and somethings it is not as good, it really depends on the individual article, but on the few I have tried, most were a pleasure to read. As this is a free app it is well worth checking out and seeing if it is something you like.

Rating: 7.5/10

Price (at time of review):
Free

Link: Discover