Forget the masses: News360’s new iPad app is all about you

news360 logoNews360 is throwing itself in the news aggregator game — again. Today the app is unveiling its new iPad app, which features a cleaner user interface as well as one element that can help set it apart from news reader pack: favoring your personal preferences without relying on the “wisdom” of the masses.

Since the likes of Flipboard hit the app store, various tools have debuted to solve our information overload problem by using social tools to evaluate what news is important to our circles while also taking stock of our preferences… and then, ultimately, pulling content from its approximately 40,000 sources-strong database.

Where News360 deviates is by eschewing the friend part of our social media networks. While the app reads how were interacting with our contacts to, more or less, get to know you. Once the app has an idea about your personality, it’s able to make predictions and recommendations about what you’ll want to read. “We’re very specifically avoiding using your social feeds as a source,” CEO Roman Karachinsky tells me. “We want to know what you’re interested in and what you’re psychological profile is, and then we want to find the content without relying on your existing connections.”

“What makes us different is that we try to take a more holistic approach in what stories we show you. We look at what you do on Twitter and Facebook and who you follow and are friends with to understand your relationship to topics, but we don’t rely on other people to curate stories for you. We want to curate stories for you.”

news360 scienceNews360 also gives users an incredibly high degree of customization. Beyond picking publications and subjects you’re interested in, you can go deeper. Beyond indicating you like to read about science, you can also indicate you want to see stories about physics but not chemistry; robotics but not NASA. In a demo with Karachinsky, I got a glimpse at how thoroughly you can tailor your News360 experience — digging into the preference options available in the iPad app is like unwrapping the layers of an onion, you can just keep going.

There’s also a Pandora-like mechanic to the application, so it will learn from you the more you use it and from the news stories you are reading, sharing, and liking — as well as those being discarded.

As you might expect, News360 works with read-it-later apps like Instapaper and Pocket, which was available in the earlier iteration of the iPad app. Also making the return appearance are features like sharing and its language, tone, quality (and so on and so forth) reading algorithm that picks the best of the available news options for you. 

news360 editing categories

What might have been keeping you from trying out News360, however, was the UI. It wasn’t offensive or unintuitive per se, but it wasn’t exactly engaging. The new makeover is a much better match for everything under the hood. I would say it’s quite as sleek as Flipboard, but there’s also a lot more beneath the surface, so there’s your tradeoff. What News360 lacks in flash, it makes up for in utility. This is a news app that works; it’s methodical and highly customizable and it thankfully won’t spit out the news reader stories you see filling your Facebook News Feed. And again, just to clarify, the interface and design are nice — they just aren’t the app’s selling point. 

Karachinsky tells me that the changes made to the iPad app will hit other platforms in the near future as well, so your Web, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Playbook (talk about compatibility) News360 apps will be getting the upgrade too.

Cars

How General Motors is preparing for an electric, autonomous, connected future

How does an established automaker like General Motors adapt to new tech trends? By looking for people and solutions outside the mainstream, says Ken Kelzer, GM VP of global vehicle components and subsystems.
Mobile

Upcoming iPad may lose a few millimeters, along with its headphone jack

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.
Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Smart Home

Google is porting some Home Hub features to other smart displays

Google is proud of its new Google Home Hub, but in a surprise move, it's bringing many of the features associated with the new device to all the Google-enabled smart displays in its ecosystem, as well as some competing devices.
Mobile

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and it wants to help you limit your smartphone usage

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. At $350, the Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Photography

You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Mobile

The Huawei Mate 20 may come with a massive 40W charger

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.