There was a great deal of hubbub yesterday when word got out that Google had released a copy of its News and Weather Application for iOS. It had been previously available for those who use the Android system. I gave it a download to see what it looked like on iOS.
I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised when, if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, … but other than the default dark display install of the familiar white of the Android, it looks and functions exactly the same way. In fact, the first thing I did was go to the menu and add “Education” as a category. Now both versions should pick up the same content.
But other than that I was off to the races. Of course, location is important when you’re looking for the weather and there was no issue quickly picking up me at home. A quick change of location and you’re pulling in the weather from wherever you want.
Like good news reading applications, a collection of “Top Stories” occupies the home for the application.
Tapping the now familiar hamburger menu lets you see the default news categories. There is a nice selection to get started – World, Canada, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, Health, and of course the local stories from Amherstburg and Windsor. Amherstburg just doesn’t have a whole lot to report so the application appears to pull in stories from around the country to fill.
With each story, a down arrow exposes related stories which is a very nice feature. Once you’re done with the top stories, swipe left and right to work your way through your defined categories.
Clicking on a story takes you directly to the story. There’s a navigation bar at top that will bring you back to the application. Therein lies a problem for sharers. Unlike other reading/sharing programs that connect directly to Twitter or Facebook, News and Weather doesn’t. Fortunately, in this day and age, most sources have a way to use social media on their website. The problem is that there’s no consistent way to access it. It would be nice to have a native sharing button.
The layout is clean and you know that with Google who is already indexing things anyway, you’ll get relevant and fresh content. For those on the iOS platform looking for a reader, I’d suggest downloading it and seeing if it has a home on your device.