updated 07:45 pm EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
More news, delivered more conveniently
Two iPad-centric news apps, Pulse and Newsy, have launched new versions designed to increase their usefulness to readers -- with the former adding its own "read it later" component, while the latter focuses on overall performance improvements, push notifications and a new news ticker. Meanwhile, Comedy Central has created iPad and tablet-friendly versions of the websites for their flagship "fake news" shows, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.
Pulse has introduced a web component into their eco-system of apps for the iPad, and iPhone/iPod Touch (both free). Dubbed Pulse.me, it allows readers to save stories for later reading in a personal archive, which are then accessible from any other device that can run the just-updated Pulse v2.3 news app. The site also creates a "portal" experience for people who would like to read their news using a web browser.
Users must create an account (using the Pulse program on any device, or through the website directly) to access the new service -- account creation and the service itself are free. Facebook users can login to Pulse.me using their Facebook credentials if desired.
Once that's done, simply tapping a star next to a news story will mark it for later reading, accessible from any other Pulse device or the website. Users who are already or wish to use a different "read it later" service can easily integrate it with Pulse, choosing Instapaper, Evernote, Read It Later or Google Reader as alternatives. Starring a story in Pulse from an imported Google Reader feed will automatically star it in Google Reader as well.
Newsy for iPad (free) has undergone a complete makeover, debuting with today's v3.0 an entirely new interface that is focused on dramatically improving loading times, making sharing easier, and offering new features. Newsy differs from other news-reading apps by analyzing as well as aggregating news sources, providing insight into different perspectives on the same news -- contrasting international and domestic coverage of an event, for example.
The app, which is available for all iDevices as well as Android, Blackberry and even Atom netbooks, uses original video productions from the Missouri School of Journalism as well as videos from news sources around the world to built a comprehensive look at what's happening, and now offers push notifications of top stories so that users stay informed without having to launch the app to get an update.
Both the iPad and Android Newsy apps have been updated to make more videos available, and substantially improve delivery performance. Users can share videos on Facebook with a single tap, and can tweet updates linked to Newsy videos directly from within the app, which now saves Twitter logins.
Although branded as comedy shows that comment on the news rather than directly present it, both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are frequently cited as a main source for news by younger viewers, often surpassing other TV and print outlets, and even some online "legitimate" news sources. Both shows actually do devote a significant portion of their programs to analyzing topical news stories with expert commentary, decorated with humorous analysis that satirizes both the events of the day and the method by which the mainstream media packages and prioritizes news.
Although apps for both shows are available for iOS -- a unified Daily Show app which features segments from each new episode, and a "The Word" segment-specific app for iPhone/Touch and iPad for Colbert fans (both free) -- the network has now launched tablet-friendly versions of the websites for both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, enabling users to enjoy segments from both shows in full, and enabling Android and Playbook users to enjoy the program on their devices as well.
Users can bookmark the tablet-friendly site, which uses the same address as the regular sites but with a "t." at the beginning of the URL. All videos are encoded in HTML5 for fast, efficient delivery across all tablet platforms. The tablet-friendly sites also appear to work outside the United States, allowing international users to watch segments directly from Comedy Central for the first time.