Reading Robin Wautersâ€™ review in TechCrunch yesterday of three nifty iPhone news apps, one especially caught my attention (Robin said it was â€˜awesomeâ€™): ZenNews from UK company Zensify. Iâ€™m trying it out.
I like the concept as you can see at a quick glance what news is hot at that moment, from which mainstream medium. You tap on a tag to see a list of news items; you then tap on a particular item to go to the web page concerned.
Youâ€™re really focusing on the news more than on who is providing that news.
How does it work? According to Zensify;
[â€¦] ZenNews isnâ€™t just an RSS reader, it incorporates Zensifyâ€™s Smart Analytics technology to provide unmatched analysis, discovery and visualization of the latest breaking news stories from sources around the globe â€“ all in real-time.
It certainly seems to do that. I’ve not explored the app in great detail yet â€“ lots of buttons along the bottom of the screen to look into â€“ other than checking through the settings.
You can choose news categories from a list (general, technology, art, entertainment, science, etc: the types of news youâ€™d expect to see) and from which sources (in addition to the three examples Iâ€™ve mentioned, you have others such as CNN, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, New York Times, USA Today, etc).
Still, I think it is a useful app. Iâ€™m a big fan of aggregators, whether RSS or news as, generally, I find them much better solutions than installing separate apps or subscribing separately to content from different places.
In the case of news apps like ZenNews, a big appeal clearly is that itâ€™s free. Yet as more mainstream media continue trying to figure out what media business models will work in the future, the idea of â€˜all content is freeâ€™ is a finite one, even with a commodity such as news. So would ZenNews end up having to charge for the app or the content itself with a subscription model, perhaps, as BNO News does?
Time will tell. Meanwhile, enjoy it while you can.