How do you consume your news? Do you have your favorite websites, or are you more concerned with staying in touch with certain subjects? Do you read your news on your computer or prefer to do so on the go?
Each of us consumes their news differently, and one fantastic way to do so is Circa. You may have heard of Circa before. We’ve told you about the Circa iPhone app last year, and a limited Web version was added to the mix not so long ago. But for us Android users, Circa was off limits. That is, until a couple of weeks ago.
What’s Special About Circa?
What do you care about more, the information you read or where you read it on? If you don’t have one favorite website, and don’t care where the news comes from as long as it’s reliable, you’re going to love Circa.
Circa is not about feeds and websites, it’s about subjects and stories. Circa’s own writers and editors scout the bigger news websites, and break the news down into small segments of text, photos, facts, quotes, and more. The result are bite-sized pieces of news, that nonetheless cover all the important points you should care about. These are aggregated from several different websites, so you’re not relying on one or two sources for all your news.
Reading Circa News
Since Circa is available on several platforms, you can create an account and sync your preferences between several devices. You don’t have to, however, and Circa works just fine without you having to identify yourself in any way.
Your default Circa homepage is today’s top news (you can change this to any of the other available categories through the settings), with the top story of the day featured on top. Any story you’ve already read will be marked in light grey.
A news story is made up of several segments, each containing a fact, a photo, a quote, or some other interesting tidbit. Most stories are made up of 4-5 segments, and are short and to the point. The very first one gives you an overview of the story, and the rest bore down into it a bit. If you only want to get the gist of the story, you won’t even have to go through the entire thing to understand what’s going on.
There are several things you can do with each story you read. For starters, you can follow the story, and get automatic updates when something new happens. For example, if you follow the story about the ISS launch, you’ll get regular updates about it as they come through, without having to specifically look for them.
Wonder where the information you’re reading came from? That’s understandable, as you might not want to blindly trust in what Circa’s writers decide to showcase on the app. Tap the “i” button on top to get a full list of citations for this story, complete with links to the full stories (opens in your browser).
You can, of course, share stories through pretty much any installed app on your device. While reading a story, Circa will also suggest similar storylines to the one you’re currently reading, making it easy to find more stories you may be interested in.
Browsing & Customizing
Circa comes with several news categories you can browse through. The list is a bit short, to be honest, but hopefully more subjects will be added as the app matures. Swipe right from the home screen to access the category list, as well as the list of stories you’ve followed. You can also access your followed stories from any category page by tapping the bookmark button on the top right.
While reading a story, you can swipe left and right to browse between stories without having to go back to the main category page. You can do this at any stage in the story, which makes reading through stories quick and effortless.
Through the app’s settings, you can control how it displays graphic content, switch to smooth scrolling (rather than segment by segment scrolling in stories), change your default homepage and set the frequency of background updates (or turn them off). From here you can also set which push notifications you’d like to get, and set up email notifications, if you’d like to get those.
The News As It Ought To Be
Whether reading the news is part of your job, or just something you like to do, it can take up a hefty chunk of your schedule without you even noticing. Circa is a surprisingly efficient way to stay updated on things you care about, without having to spend hours skimming through long articles and without sticking to specific websites. To me, and I suspect that to many of you as well, this is news as it ought to be.
Circa is completely free and ad-free (at least at the moment), and fits brilliantly on your phone’s small screen. It’s definitely worth a try.
Not sold? Here are 5 more news-reading apps for Android you should try.
What’s your favorite way to read the news? Any special apps to recommend? Tell us in the comments.
Image credit: woodleywonderworks