News360 launches all-new Web experience that syncs with mobile apps
News360, a personalized news app available for a number of mobile platforms, has launched its brand-new Web app this morning. The app now features synchronization with the News360 mobile apps, enabling users to load the site in any Web browser and continue reading items they started on their smartphones and tablets.
Since News360 first appeared on the iPhone in 2010, it has tried to offer a highly customizable news reading experience. The app has since made its way to Android and Windows Phone, as well as Windows 8 and the Web, becoming more finely tuned along the way. In July 2012, News360’s mobile apps underwent a transformation that handed users more control over the topics they’re presented.
For instance, users are now able to drill down into categories and target specific types of content. This lets someone interested in technology focus on anything cloud related and tell News360 to ignore all other tech content. It’s a useful shift for those who often have to filter out a lot of uninteresting content to get to the stuff they really want to read about.
That filtering process is helped along even more by News360’s learning algorithms, which can determine the types of content you like by how long you spend on an article or by the feedback you provide on a piece. News360 combines its own data with your input to try and predict the types of articles you’d enjoy reading. It’s certainly not for those who have to read particular sources, but for those who want only the news they’re interested in and nothing more, News360 could be useful.
In order to put the Web experience on par with what readers have come to expect from Web content, the update News360 Web app now puts more of an emphasis on images. As you can see in the screenshot to the right, News360 is displaying larger images related to the stories that show up inside the app, making the app feel almost like a magazine that you’re reading in your Web browser. It’s definitely a change from the previous News360 interface, which had more of a blog feel to it.
News360 also borrows a trick from news aggregation sites like TechMeme. News stories that have been covered by multiple sources are “clustered” — for example, an article by the Los Angeles Times on Twitter’s IPO may headline, but articles from Reuters and The Guardian may also be linked. This allows users to get multiple perspectives on the same story.
According to News360, its apps had over four million users following the July 2012 updates. Will those numbers go up now that the Web app boasts the same capabilities as the mobile apps and can also sync with them? We’re anxious to find out.
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