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18 fast and fluid news apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone

With a world population now toppling seven billion people, it’s safe to say the world is a big place with a good deal going on across continents. However, the world’s happenings are also not the easiest things to keep track of in an age where the traditional newspaper is in a state of flux and online providers are increasingly erecting pay walls to access their content. Fortunately, the app market is busting at the seams with prominent apps for accessing news content spanning the globe, whether it be from NPR, CNN, Yahoo, the AP, the New York Times, or a bevy of other supposed news organizations. The apps put the world’s event in the palm of your end, completely with tailored recommendations and the ability to share content among flagship social networks, rendering them easy to access and share no matter your location or choice of smartphone. Some say no news may is good news, but to these app developers, no news means unemployment.

Here are our top picks for the best news apps, whether you’re a die-hard news junkie or merely a casual purveyor of the world affairs. Also, check out our prime selection of the Best Apps for iPhone and the Best Apps for Android, along with the Best Music Apps and the Best Food and Drink Apps if you want more specific offerings available on iOS and Android platforms.

Update on 5-09-2014 by Brandon Widder: We’ve updated the apps featured and the design of this article significantly. Let us know if you have more suggestions!

AGOGO

iOS

Free

AGOGO Screens

This “all-in-one audio service” isn’t strictly focused on delivering news. It streams all things audio — music, news, audiobooks, and podcasts — even converting text and video into audio form so you can listen to The Daily Show or that article you forgot about.

AP Mobile

iOS | AndroidWindows

Free

AP Mobile Screens

Donned in a paneled design featuring the AP logo, the AP Mobile app provides content covering the the entire globe, along with local news catered toward your region. Though fairly cut-and-dry, it still supplies the necessary facts and terrific photos as well.

BBC News 

iOS | Android

Free

BBC News Screens

This app gives you a mix of audio, video, and text content covering the globe. Headlines are easy to read and sorted by topic, perfect for a quick skim, and you ca read full stories with a tap. The app also allows you to target geographical regions.

Circa

iOS |Android

Free

Circa Screens

The Circa staff reduces news content to the bare minimum regardless of the source, sending you notifications on breaking news and allowing you to follow specific stories as they develop without having to continually re-read articles for the latest updates.

CNN App

iOS | Android | Windows

Free

CNN App Screens

Unlike most news sources, CNN’s mobile app lets you contribute your own story or opinion in the form of a photo or video via the equipped CNN iReport feature. The coverage may be odd and talk about silly things sometimes, but it’s certainly extensive.

Digg

iOS | Android

Free

Digg App Screems

With trending stories trending and those the Digg staff picks, this news aggregator compiles articles, images, audio, and video from a multitude of sources. You can follow your favorite online publishers, writers, and bloggers, and save stories for offline reading.

Feedly Reader

iOS | Android

Free

Feedly App Screens

Feedly does what most news apps do — aggregating news items, longer articles, blog posts, and quick videos into a single spot — but it does it well and looks phenomenal while doing it. The redesigned, RSS news reader is also customizable. Plus, Evernote integration comes standard.

Flipboard

iOS | Android | Windows

Free

Flipboard App Screens

Flipboard allows you to create a personalized magazine without actually writing any content. You click an assortment of interests to begin, adding blogs and publications like The New York Times and People magazine, before tapping tiles to navigate the magazine.

Inside

iOS

Free

Inside App Screens

Inside is a direct competitor to Circa. The mobile app delivers 300-character updates on more than 1,000 news stories daily, whether they’re about tech, health, sports, or international politics from a variety of sources, each tagged with a specific topic of interest.

LinkedIn Pulse

iOS | Android

Free

LinkedIn Globe Screens

LinkedIn Pulse is the mobile news app for pros. You can browse thousands of sources and customize your individual feed with a slew of topic channels you deem appropriate. The app is integrated into LinkedIn itself and lets you import your Reader RSS feeds.

NPR News

iOS | Android

Free

NPR News App Screens

All Things Considered and Fresh Air have remained some of the most beloved radio programs ever since their inception in the early ’70s. NPR’s official mobile app lets you feed your addiction. You can also bookmark your local NPR stations using your location.

NYT Now

iOS

Free

NY Times Now App Screens

NYT Now presents a list of articles covering domestic and global events, with images and quick snippets. The Our Picks tab features noteworthy articles from other sources, picked by the New York Times editors, but a full subscription to the service will still run you $8.

Paper

iOS

Free

Paper App Screens

The Flipboard-esque app has a clean aesthetic, seamlessly blending items from your Facebook feed with news stories. You can customize Paper with your favorite themes and interests or simply use it to browse the social network. That said, the tilt navigation can get old.

Yahoo News Digest

iOS

Free

Yahoo News Digest App Sceens

The Yahoo News Digest delivers the news to you twice a day (morning and night) like newspapers and news broadcasts used to do before the rise of the Internet and 24-hour news channels. These two digests compile key bits of info, giving you a broader picture.

Google Currents

iOS | Android

Free

Google Currents App Screen

Google Currents has come a long way since debuting in late 2011. The magazine-like app utilizes Google search technology to highlight breaking and trending news stories spanning a variety of different categories covering politics, sports, sciences, and other topics.

News Republic

iOS | Android | Windows

Free

News Republic App Screens

Reveling in a visual design, News Republic offers a wider girth of coverage than the developer’s tech-centric app, Appy Geek. Moreover, the app learns what you like and automatically adjusts itscontent, giving you options for selecting and sharing your reaction. 

Al Jazeera English

iOSAndroid | Windows

Free

Al Jazeer English App Screens

Al Jazeera was the first international English, 24-hour news channel to broadcast from the Middle East. The organization’s coverage is considered one of the least biased of any news publication, and its app provides more features than the website.

Zite

iOS | Android | Windows

Free

Zite App Screens

This intelligent, magazine-like offering draws news stories using a robust algorithm, one that becomes more precise and tailored to your interests as you use it. There are 40,000+ topics to chose from at any moment, all of which is wrapped within an attractive design.

What do you think of our top picks for the best news apps? Do we missing anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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