With cross platform application development quickly gaining traction (and a bit faster at the Redmond Giant), Microsoft has launched a brand new News application for iOS users looking for a suitable alternative to Apple’s own news app.
Christened NewsPro, Microsoft’s application is unique in several ways. Apart from being powered by Bing, NewsPro personalizes the articles it displays according to your current preferences and is available for both mobile as well as on the web version.
Once you have installed the app, it requires you to sign in via either LinkedIn or Facebook. After signing in, it quickly goes through your social networking profile and gets an idea of the topics that may interest you. Then you can just sit back and relax as it populates your home feed with stories that match your interests.
However, if you would like to customize and choose your own interests, you are welcome to do so by tapping the Browse/Pilot tab in the app. Also, in another first among most major news apps, Microsoft has add both Like and Comment features to its article stream.
NewsPro also boasts of a speed mode option — a leaf that seems to be taken out of SmartNew’s book — that allows you to view a lighter version of the article which is easier to read as well as load. However, Microsoft almost may have done better without it considering that it is identical to, and looks to have been ported straight from SmartNews.
The app was developed by folks over at the Microsoft Garage and is certainly a good idea. The fact that it can be accessed over the web is a big plus in its favour. However, a little change from conventional news delivery services and some additional features users have been clamouring for months, wouldn’t have gone amiss.
As it is, the app isn’t particularly likely to stand out among competition. Let’s hope that the Garage folks learn their lesson and instead of developing things that are already out there somewhere, focus upon new and innovative ideas.