Windows Phone might be getting more apps than ever before, but when it comes to news apps, the likes of iOS and Android still hold the clear edge (Ha! No Flipboard or Pulse on Windows Phone (yet), they would chortle). However, if the likes of Magnify News Reader are any indication, this state of affairs might change in the coming days.
A 10 MB download, Magnify News Reader picks up points for leveraging the one feature of Windows Phone that most people love – the interface. Opening the app will make you feel as if you are back on yours Windows Phone homescreen, with tiles of different colors and sizes. Peer a bit more closely however and you will you see that the rather thin columns on the left contain the names of different sections and each tile in front of these columns actually contains the names of news sources under that section. Tap on a source and you are taken to a series of stories covered by it, all arranged one below with large photographs. Tapping on a story takes you to the complete story, and you have the option to share it on social networks or to save it for later reading (if you have an Instapaper account handy).
There are some incredibly nifty interface touches too. When inside a news source, you can move from one story to another by just swiping your finger across the screen. What’s more, if you have enabled it, you will actually see the article ‘swivel’ from one to another, as it were a cube, rather than just slide. This swivel-in-a-cube effect is very much in evidence too when you scroll down while reading a story – the page rotates upwards or downwards as if the entire story had been printed on a screen with many surfaces. And well, if you have enabled it, you will also see the articles you have read being shown as slightly faded to let you know that you have read it as compared to the brighter, unread ones. The app itself is very flexible – you can add new sources of news, add new sections (or ‘groups’ as the app calls them) and even change the names of existing sections (prefer ‘geekland’ to ‘tech’ ? Go right ahead and change it). And of course, this being Windows Phone, you can ‘pin’ sources to your homescreen. And yes, you can move and resize news source tiles within the app as well.
All of which makes Magnify News Reader pretty much our favorite Windows Phone news app out there. We love the fact that it integrates so smoothly with the Windows Phone UI. Yes, it has its rough edges – sometimes the pages do not turn very smoothly and some news sources do not render too well on it (the photographs went missing in BBC Football, for instance) – but all in all, we really think that Windows Phone finally has a good news app that plays to its interface strengths. And might even make iOS and Android users a wee bit jealous. That is good news. Pun intended.
Download from: Windows Store