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Guide: Flipboard vs Google News: Which is the best News App for you
The amount of news published every day is sure to overwhelm you. Even if you open news sites on separate tabs, you will still miss the sites that interest you. Therefore, the emergence of news aggregating apps is an attempt to address the information overload. So which one do you use?
Of the various apps available, Google News and Flipboard are two strong contenders. Google News, owned by search engine giant Google, scans more than 50,000 sources to collect news stories. Since most of us already use Google to search for information, Google News becomes an obvious choice.
Flipboard wants to personalize your user experience by curating news stories that interest you. With a beautiful and functional interface comes the ability to compose news as desired or follow someone else.
Note: For this post, I am using the Android app for both services.back to menu ↑
1. Create an account
If you have a Google account, you do not need to create a new account for Google News. Simply go to the Google News home page while logged into your Google account. If you are using a smartphone, download the Android or iOS app. Google News apps are free to use. If you have an Android phone, you can use your Google ID. But if you are an iOS user and don’t have a Google account, you should create one.
Flipboard is available on Android and iOS and also has a web version. In the app you usually start by choosing all the topics (hashtag) that are relevant to you, starting with a minimum of 3. You can later select different areas of interest.
Flipboard offers broad categories such as politics and technology, along with a choice of different niche topics such as training and Crossfit. After you choose the topics, Flipboard will populate your home page accordingly. The app never asked me to create an account, but I would recommend it so you can sync your preferences and keep compiling and sharing news stories.
Google News uses a typically minimalist design that remains consistent with other Google products and apps.
I believe Flipboard has a nicer and more fluid user interface. Instead of scrolling, flip pages on your screen, just like in a physical magazine, to browse news stories. That is why it is called Flipboard.back to menu ↑
2. Browse news stories
Some of the news articles on the For You tab in Google News depend on the types of topics you regularly search with other Google apps. While the algorithm remains a mystery, your recent searches have an impact. Then there are stories that Google deems essential and useful. I like the little weather symbol which isn’t intrusive, but when you tap it, it reveals today’s weather forecast pulled from the Weather.com site.
Even Flipboard shows you a ‘For You’ tab where you can find news from categories you chose after you first launched the app. The 10 tab for today lists the top ten news stories of the day. Another tab is What’s Your Passion where you can choose more topics to follow. Below each topic you will find the number of people following it.
In Google News, the headlines tab is further divided into sections like Latest for the recent news stories, and another one is for location (country) – in my case that’s India. In addition, there are broad categories such as Business, Technology, Finance and a World Section.
A colorful square icon indicates the Full Opacity option below something new. Tapping on that will reveal news from different publishers on the same topic, event or incident.
The timeline feature gives you a bird’s eye view of a story with dates and links to the source. Useful for people researching specific topics. Google News also pulls in relevant videos and tweets from Twitter.back to menu ↑
3. Customize your experience
Don’t like what you see in the Google News app? Tap the Favorites tab and choose the topics you want to read. They could be sources such as NY Times, or topics such as photography.
You can also add stories based on location. So if you live in New York, search for the name of your city, and Google will fill your screen with stories from that city. Tap the star icon on the right to create a bookmark.
Aside from What’s Your Passion, Flipboard has a search tab where you can filter content based on categories and regions. While you can search, most popular resources and topics are automatically suggested to save time.
When you select a topic, the Flipboard app will show you a few related stories, then you can see sub-topics to follow. That’s what I like about Flipboard.
When I chose sub-topics in Google News, I got to see more stories. However, you can use the search function to easily find and subscribe to topics. I also believe Flipboard does a better job of suggesting sub-topics.
In the Newsstand tab at the bottom right, Google proposes a list of resources based on categories and interests. It works for people who want to read news stories classified categorically, almost like a newspaper. You can subscribe to specific interests such as horoscope updates from various sites.
Indeed, there is an overlap between different tabs in both Google News and Flipboard.
If you enjoy reading magazines, you can subscribe to them with your Play Store account, and you may have to pay for most of them. The Popular tab shows news that many users have subscribed, read, and follow.back to menu ↑
4. Share and manage
We share stories and save / bookmark them. In Google News, tap the menu icon (three dots) to save the story to Favorites so you can access it later or share it with others using the standard Android sharing options. You can also visit the original web page if you want to read the article in its original layout. But why would you do that when you can read the entire article directly in Google News?
In Flipboard, you will see the Notifications tab with the activities on Flipboard from your social media friends from Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. The tab includes notifications about what they read, comment, like, and save. You can also follow popular curators on the platform creating their own ‘magazine’.
You see, Flipboard allows you to save and curate stories you like in different categories for others to follow. That makes Flipboard an exciting place for niche subject curators and people who follow them who are only interested in reading well-curated quality news items.
But how to compose stories? After reading an article, tap the ‘+’ icon if you liked it. Flipboard will then ask you to create a new magazine to store that story. You can also choose to keep the magazine private or make it public for others to see and follow.
That’s why bloggers, writers and thinkers prefer Flipboard. It’s a shame I’ve rarely used the app on a regular basis.
Google is the curator of Google News and it allows you to download all the news stories on a particular topic you follow. Open a topic, tap the three-dot icon in the top-right corner, check the Download box in the menu, and download all the news below that topic to read offline later.
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Both Google News and Flipboard are very good at collecting news from many sources. You can zoom in in both categories from broad categories to niche topics. So I think it is very close.
If you are a curator or like to follow others and want a nice user interface, get Flipboard. If you’re going to do in-depth research, subscribe to magazines, or download all of the articles for a particular topic at once, Google News is a better alternative.
The next up: Want to read news on your Windows 10 laptopHere are the top 5 RSS readers available in the Windows 10 Store.back to menu ↑
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