Inte.rests, a powerful news aggregator for Android
The word news was born from the need to have a plural version of “new”. It was used first in the 14th century as a way of presenting information about selected events. Since the first newspaper saw the light of day 3 centuries later, the preferred method of communicating the news was by word-of-mouth, as the only printed communication papers were those from issued by the governments.
3 centuries later from the appearance of the first newspaper and the world is bombarded with news from all sources, no matter if they’re of importance of not as long as they’re considered “newsworthy”, a concept that degraded in time. The printed newspapers reached a point of over-saturation and most publications face a rapid decline in the short to mid future.
The future of news lays in the digital world, as people need more and more up-to-the-minute news of current events, and how to do that better than via the Internet right on your device, be it a PC or a portable device.
Information aggregators help their users “digest” the news they’re interested in based on their preferences.
Developed by bs-Tech, Inte.rests is an information aggregator for Android that helps you by showing only the news you’re really interested in. Using an innovative solution (that includes heuristic scans from various sources) this app lets you define your news interests and it will pull in daily news tailored to your preferences. The news are displayed in an easily accessible design view showing as well high-quality images from each news article. Here’s a quick guide on you set Inte.rests to be your information aggregator:
- Sign-up or login. The first time you start the app you’ll be asked to either login to an online server or signup (optional). This is actually a feature where you can create an account with their online server and have your app preferences saved on the cloud. Thus, if you want to install the app on another device and want to have in there all your preferred channels/news interests, simply login and it will sync with the online server. Don’t worry, if you don’t want an account you can still use the app, as by default it will select for you the most popular channels in your language (still you’ll be guided through a quick tutorial to set your categories and language). The app synchronizes with the server your channels, interests and favorite news items.
- Manage channels. The news are pulled into your device from various channels. You can think of a channel as a single website, for instance CNN is a news channel. All their channels are smartly grouped in several categories, as follows: blog, culture, development, economy, entertainment, food and drink, gaming, health, music, photo and design, podcast, science, social, sport, technology, top stories, travel, world. By selecting a category you can choose the channels from that category one by one (you add channels by tapping on the Add button or + sign).
- Set your interests. Interests is a concept where by adding a keyword or a set of keywords of what you like to read, the app will take those into account and only show you the news from your selected channels that match those keywords. You can manage your interests from the same named section, or there’s a way that on a given news item you can tap and hold to take that article’s keyword(s) automatically into consideration as your interests.
- Just keep reading, just keep reading. Once you’ve set everything in place it’s time to start reading the news in one of these available languages Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
At the top of your news items (shown as a grid with high quality images) Inte.rests has a dashboard where you have access to 6 different tabs, Home, Latest News, Interests, Channels, Catalog and Favorites. The Home tab will show your news items either as a slider (your news will be animated and shown based on your interests) or a gallery showing by default the latest news from all your feeds.
The Latest News tab shows the most recent articles from all your channels. You have the option to search through them and by tapping and holding on a particular news item you have these actions available: Add (will add all the keywords related to the news item to your list of interests), Add to Favorites (will include the current news item to your list of Favorites) and Hide Thumbnail (if for some reason you don’t like the thumbnail you can remove it).
The Interests tab allows you to manage your keywords based on which the news will be filtered through. This tab will show only the news items that match the keywords from your Interests. Each news item can be added to favorites, expanded (read the entire news item not only the summary) or deleted.
The Channels/Catalogs tabs will allow you to manage the sources of your news items. You can edit the channel (its name, choose to hide/show it, enable/disable heuristic scan), change the order of the channels by dragging them around or delete particular channels.
Lastly, on the Favorites tab you’ll see the news you’ve favorited from the other views. Each item can be expanded, removed and additionally shared.
Inte.rests has some options you can modify to better suit your needs, but you can as well leave the options to their default values if you’re not too keen into optimizing everything:
- Preferences. Here you can choose the app’s appearance (between several themes such as dark, light, total black, reversed dark/light, grey, white), choose the starting section (I named them tabs above), hide the help and empty sections (i.e. categories that don’t have any news), animate the news/interests and choose to allow the “pull to refresh” option.
- Connectivity. You can have the app update the news only via WiFi, so when no wireless network is present it won’t do any data transfers. Additionally you can set proxy settings if using one.
- News. Here you can choose if you want synchronization enabled or not (with auto-update when you change something), update the time, select how long to keep the downloaded news and how fresh the latest news should be (in days).
- Notifications. Inte.rests will notify you by default when news are fetched, you can choose to disable those notifications, enable/disable sound notifications or choose when a notification should be displayed (only for news, or both for news and interests).
- Interests. You can set the source for choosing the Interests (local channels and/or remote ones), choose if you want interests to be synced, select the primary and secondary language.
Inte.rests is one of the most feature-full information aggregators for Android and is currently in beta, thus if you notice something not working right you’ll do a service to the author by reporting it. You can download it from Google Play for free (really free, no ads): Download Inte.rests for Android.