You Need The News, Now!
What is the best way to read the news on your Windows Phone? You could open up Internet Explorer, perhaps, and browse to your favourite news site or you might prefer to use Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep abreast of the latest developments.
A much better method is to use a news aggregator, a Google Reader-style tool that collects the news for you and lets you read and share it however you like.
On Windows Phone, Weave News Reader is perhaps the best option, offering a combination of curated feeds and the facility to add your own. Articles you enjoy can be shared, making this an app that at the very least you should take a look at.
You’ll notice from the introduction that there are two versions of Weave News Reader. The premium version, priced $9.99 (£7.99) is surprisingly expensive. Meanwhile, the free ad-supported version has a built-in way around displaying the ads. All you need to do is open an ad and the remainder of your session is ad-free. The premium app’s full price seems far too high to justify spending money on when the workaround on the ad-supported version is so simple.
Setting Up News In Weave
With the app launched for the first time, you’ll see a collection of pre-selected articles for you to read. To get started customizing these, swipe to account > manage sources where you can tap the add button to browse for a new source from the curated list, or use the search option to scour the web for a particular RSS feed.
When your choice is made, tap the back button to save. The new section will be displayed, and each feed listed therein can be edited. If you’re creating a custom category, tap Edit to name it. You’ll then need to move each of your new feeds into the newly-named section.
While the main app can be pinned to your Start screen, you can also pin the news categories. Weave News Reader’s live tiles will inform you when there are unread stories for you to catch up on.
After setting up your feeds you can read the news by launching Weave. Posts are listed on pages of 15 items, which you simply tap to read. You can change categories by opening the Sources list – this is achieved by dragging your finger from the left edge of the screen.
Sharing News From Weave
Weave offers various sharing options that you can use to disseminate the articles that you read, either to other reading tools or to friends.
Use the send to button to display the list of sharing option. From left to right, these are Instapaper, email, social networks, open the link in Internet Explorer or send by SMS messaging.
Weave News Reader also has a login & sync screen where you can setup Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts for accessing feeds and preferences on other devices.
You can also save articles for later by pressing the favorite button.
Other Ways To Experience News In Weave
While viewing a news item, expanding the menu will reveal a few additional ways in which to enjoy the post. The Reading font option offers a selection of typefaces and sizes while Reading theme provides three different themes suited to the time of day.
Tapping Edit source lets you change the Article viewing mode. This is basically a choice between viewing an article in Mobilizer, the Weave app, or in Internet Explorer. Note that the View in browser option is available when reading articles, useful for cases when Weave News Reader can’t handle rich media.
Finally, the speak article option will use text-to-speech technology to read the selected article to you. This is particularly useful if you’re driving and want to stay up-to-date with the latest news in your chosen categories.
Fast News Access & Sharing With Weave News Reader
So how good is this app, really? Although the sharing options are limited, this is more a fault of the platform than anything else. A similar app on iOS or Android might have dozens of methods for sharing, so those provided by Weave are really the best universal options rather than an intention to limit how you can share.
When researching content for articles on MakeUseOf, I have used Weave News Reader extensively, taking advantage of its ability to sync new items in the background.
Weave News Reader can be found in our list of The Best Windows Phone Apps.
Image Credits: Mack Male Via Flickr