newshog (Google News Reader) reads the news headlines to you
Feb 14, 2012 8:09 AM –
newshog (Google News Reader) is an aggregate of many top new story categories compiled by Google News. It can read the news articles to you aloud, you can set a timer to wake up to the news, and you can share via your favorite social network. Is this news reader app enough to make you ditch your favorite news app… lets get into the review to find out.
Tested on: DROID Bionic, HTC Amaze 4G
Pros & Cons:
- Newshog reads news headlines to you!
- Aggregate of popular Google News channels!
- Force closes a lot! 😡
- Doesn’t allow you to save your search results as channels.
- Searched results does not pull the same wealth of content you find by visiting Google News and searching the topic.
- The more you use it, data is stored to the phone’s internal memory, it can get quite heavy fast without and doesn’t have an ‘apps to SD card’ option.
- Very buggy.
Newshog is a Google News aggregator of the online service’s popular new categories. One of its stand out features allows it to read the news stories aloud to you; including a shake phone to stop audible reading feature. Most articles are as snippets, however, you can jump to the full source version for full reading. And if you’re a news junkie you can set an alarm to wake to your news. Articles are cached for offline reading, you can add & remove channels, plus you can share them via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email, and other Android apps.
However, the excitement stops there as it does not have much customization and is very buggy erupting far too common “Force Close” error messages. One of the most disappointing aspects missing from the app is the ability to truly customize your channels. Sure you check and uncheck from the list of predefined news categories, and you can search a topic, but you cannot save any searched topics as channels or favorite them. Furthermore, when you search, the results does not come back with the wealth of articles you would find in Google News. For example, we always keep tabs on the terms “Android” and “Android Apps” for obviously reasons. Newshog returned less than ten articles on the former search term, none for the latter.
The audible reading voice is the robotic flavor, something I personally care less for but it works when started properly. I found that if you scroll the article down a bit then tap the read button it wont Force Close… strange. Worse, if you experience a FC error while the app is reading a long story you’re stuck listening to its entirety unless you force a phone restart. The developer lists this feature as shake to pause, however, this is not the case. Shaking your phone stops the audible reading, and shaking again restarts reading from the beginning of the article. Sometimes a re-shake doesn’t start the reading at all, so it’s a crap shoot on when it does work.
Though the app makes reading offline articles a breeze, it does so with some backlash. This content is downloaded to the phone’s internal memory storage versus SD card, it gets quite huge really fast, without an option to store it to SD card. What this means for the average user is that they’ll sudden have far less space for installing other apps & games and would not know how to identify the space hog nor remedy it. Tip: if you do find Newshog taking up megabytes by the tens and want to free up the space, head to your Settings > Manage applications > find Newshog > tap “Clear data”.
Newshog Google News Reader Top News Stories
Newshog Google News Reader News Story
Newshog Google News Reader Channels
Newshog Google News Reader Search for Android
Newshog Google News Reader Saved Articles
Newshog Google News Reader News Wake Timer
Newshog Google News Reader Sharing Options
Newshog Google News Reader Preferences
Having a functional news reader is essential for some. If you consider the app for strictly what it is and allow it to deliver news to you in predefined channels (Top News, Sports, Business, Entertainment, etc.), then it is highly useful.
Ease of Use:
The app walks you through a tutorial at first start up. Channels are articles are easy to navigate by swiping left or right and tap to delve further.
This is a personal call, I could see this being used as infrequent as every other day onto being used multiple times daily.
The interface is simple and formats articles for optimal reading on a mobile device. Did you know you can pinch to zoom in/out of the text? Newshog offers a basic layout, it’s not anything to write home about, but gets the job done.