News Republic

There are a plethora of news apps available that try to present an unique angle. I certainly don’t intend to look at each one, but felt this one was worth looking at.

News Republic - main screen with right-click

News Republic – main screen with right-click

Initially the view will be rather stark since except for the “Editorial” section, it will be populated by a few categories. I like the crisp images and the overlay with white background for the category name. The developers must be from the UK due to the spelling of ‘favorites’ but that isn’t knock on it. Only pointing it out should a reader not realize why it is spelled that way. Of course you can rename it with the “Manage Category” button if it bothers you.  The images update based on the most recent stories. You can easily move things around by right-clicking on a category. You are able to make more categories if you choose, but the option I like is the ability to make some tiles bigger (or smaller) than others. Most apps like this you are stuck with however the developer decides to show the tiles.

News Republic - category view with right-click

News Republic – category view with right-click

Choosing a particular category you’ll get a view like shown above. It isn’t far removed from most apps like this, but the images tend to be larger here. Plus as shown, you get the option of sorting by date, for videos only or by moods (more on this in a moment). You can of course pin an article or turn on notifications. In fact you can choose to manage notifications for each category, so only the ones you really want immediate notification about will show a toast. On the category page (and in fact in the article view) you can easily get to another category or even back Home using the drop down common in Windows 8 apps. Always nice when you can get back Home easily.

News Republic - article view with list

News Republic – article view with list

When you select an article, you get just the article, no list as shown in the above screenshot. Showing the list is optional. I do like the clean look and you can easily shift to the next one by using the right ‘hover’ arrow. The text is large and easy to read. Plus you get the whole article, no need to click something to see more. If the text is too large you can make it smaller. Shown is the default, but that isn’t even near the large size, only about half-way, it can go over twice as large. I think that’s too large. Anything in bold will go to that category of articles whether you have them added or not. It can be a great way to discover new categories.

News Republic - mood setting

News Republic – mood setting

Every article has the ability to set the mood. You can see how others reacted to that article and add your reaction, mood, to the mix. It is a sort of social aspect presented here. Since you can connect your News Republic account to Facebook, might be nice to include where your friends mood was for the article as well. Wait just a minute, did I say you connected Facebook with this app. Sorry to mislead, but no you cannot, but that is available in the Android app and I expect in other versions of the app. I am sure it will come here as well, but as of right now, what you do here cannot be connected to another News Republic app.

News Republic - add topics

News Republic – add topics

In order to add more topics you get to this screen. It quite stark and empty. Frankly I expected more since the Android app has images for each and is quite nice to look at. This feels primitive. “Last Added” and “Most Popular” are pretty easy to figure out and helpful in their own way. I guess “Selection” is its way of saying these are categories News Republic feels most will consider adding. I’m unsure though why it is called such an odd name. In the Android app this is called “Featured”, which makes more sense. “Most Popular” is called ‘Hot Topics’ in the Android app as well. I’m not sure why the change in nomenclature.

Charms

Search – you can search for topics of interest. It works quite good, even if still with that boring interface that “Add Topics” displays. Share – it works very well. Displaying an image and link if the app you are sharing to supports it. Settings – provides the option for the source of the articles and which notifications to turn on or off per category. If the source is set to USA for me, how come most of the videos are Al-Jazeera and euronews? It is the same on the Android app, so maybe there just isn’t much of a source for videos.

Snap

Snapped into a column the app holds its own very well. You can navigate everything as you can when it is full-screen. Here the “add topics” fits nicely with no open space. Quite usable in this view.

Tile

The live tile varies between several recent images from stories and text of those stories. When images are showing it is rather difficult at times to see the words News Republic since there is no color bar. I just prefer the way News Bento has their live tile.

Summary

If you don’t care where you get your news information from and prefer to look via category this app might be just the ticket. Pulse has a similar method of categorizing things but you still can choose specific sources. The problem sometimes with categories is you can choose similar ones and therefore get the same articles and the same featured images on multiple categories. For the more casual news reader though this is a fine app, plus the inclusion of moods means you can at least partially add your own commentary regarding the story and see how it relates to anyone else who’s read the article. Aside from its failings in the “add topics” area, this is a fine app for News Republic and a good alternative news reader.

Rating

3panesrating

Category: News & Weather > News

Download size:  6.31 MB

Age: 12+

Publisher: Mobiles Republic

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About

51-yr-old father of 3, work in telemarketing, like computers and technology

Tagged with:
Posted in Apps, News, Windows 8
2 comments on “News Republic
  1. Hello,
    Thank you for your test!
    I’m the developer and I’m from France, my colleague who validates the app labels is from UK, he fixed my “Favorites” label by adding a “u” … 🙂
    All the features not present in this version but available on other platforms will come in April or May.

    • sekyal says:

      You’re welcome. As noted the “u” can be “fixed” 🙂 Good to hear the features will be coming as I expected they would be in time.

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