SingTel is sticking its proverbial toe in the vast content aggregator lake with the launch of its NewsLoop app.
The “personal news and lifestyle content service” — available as a free download in both the Apple App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android customers — promises the “best local content” which is collected by a team of editors.
While the app is not a new concept at any stretch, SingTel claims its differentiator lies in its ability to narrow down news to a state level, allowing users to personalise content based on their immediate location while integrating highlights from international publishers.
According NewsLoop director, Alex Fenby, the service contains content from 600 publishers worldwide, of which 130 are Australian Web sites.
All news is sorted into 30 different categories, including 25 lifestyle topics, all of which can be sorted by preference. The app also allows users to link their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn feeds. Browsing through the categories on a tablet requires nothing more than an up or down flick of the finger (left or right on smartphones).
NewsLoop places plenty of emphasis on its layout and appearance, and has therefore created an attractive app. Simplicity is at the helm of the design, offering no more than a handful of most recent articles per page. Swiping left and right on tablets (up and down on smartphones) moves the user through further articles on the topic. At time of writing, 12 pages of content were available.
A feature which deserves particular mention is the ability to toggle between Web and reader view. Web view presents the news piece’s source Web site as its publisher intended, graphics and all. Reader kills all the extras (including advertising), presenting only text and the in-line images accompanying it. A useful addition would be the ability to set Reader view as default not only for convenience but to save on data usage.
NewsLoop is available in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.