I downloaded three news curation apps to try and compare: Flipboard, Feedly and StumbleUpon. I had actually used Flipboard briefly in the past, so I did have a little experience with that one but I feel like that gave me an advantage in seeing the ups and downs of the other apps I tried out. I will go into what I liked and disliked about each of the apps I took for a trial run.
Let’s begin with Flipboard
Flipboard is a very user-friendly app. It gives you a little walkthrough at the first login which I think is really nice for new apps. I like how it puts all the cards you added to your list on one page for you to flip through, but they are still organized by topic. For example, the news stories were not grouped with the stories about animals or celebrities.
I would keep using Flipboard because it is very easy to use. It seems to be pretty straightforward and the design is pleasing yet simple enough to be user-friendly. Out of all the apps I looked at, Flipboard seemed to be the best for straightforward news. The other two apps were not as news-centered and focused more on entertainment and magazine-based sourcing.
Feedly is up next to the plate
Feedly was a little more difficult to use than Flipboard. It had the same overall concept, however. You choose topics that interest you and it puts any updates from them on your home page. One advantage Feedly does have over Flipboard is it allows you to add specific news sources instead of just topics. For example, you can choose to follow National Geographic and you will receive everything they put out.
I don’t think I like Feedly nearly as much as Flipboard. One big pet peeve I found to have with Feedly was that all your stories are thrown in together unless you go to search for them in their individual categories. I will probably not continue to use Feedly also because it is not really that user-friendly. I couldn’t get the hang of it like I did with the other apps, which I think could be a big disadvantage for the app.
Last but not least is StumbleUpon
I found the name of this app intriguing so I gave it a shot. I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about StumbleUpon, but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I found it to be a good source for interesting or entertaining stories. For example, a lot of Buzzfeed articles kept popping up on my home page as opposed to newspaper articles. This could have been caused by the interests I added to my list as well, but if I recall correctly, there was not an option for a “news” interest, so this app may just be seeking to be for entertainment.
I think I will keep using StumbleUpon for entertainment news. It is not organized by topic on the homepage, much like Feedly, but I think it works for this app. It is very easy to swipe through stories and read the headlines and decide which ones you want to open and read, which is how Flipboard works. I think this interface is a very successful way to organize these curation apps.
Overall, StumbleUpon had to be my favorite. I loved how the app worked and it was very user-friendly. The only downside is that it is primarily an entertainment news app, which doesn’t really help if you want to read real news. For straightforward news, I liked Flipboard. I will be keeping both of these apps and using them more to keep up with the world news as well as keeping myself entertained.