Favorite Apps Series — NextGen Reader for Windows 8 AND Windows Phone 8

Category: Favorite Apps Series

The first Favorite Apps Series post regarding apps from Windows Phone 8. In the past it’s been for iPhone, but as you all know (last time I’ll say this) I’ve switched to Windows Phone 8. And recently I’ve started using Windows 8 desktop as well. Enjoy!

Update: The official review from WPCentral has been pumped out; enjoy. The full version is now available on the Windows Phone Store and the Beta is done. They really polished this thing. Of all the apps I’ve seen updated, these guys know what the users want. All I can say now, is keep it up; and please teach the other developers how to work.

News is a huge thing for many users on any platform. One of the first things to pop into my head while debating the switch to Windows Phone, was how I will get my news. Back on the iPhone, Newsify was what I used. Although, there was no desktop counterpart to make it an all-around solution for my avid news intake. This isn’t the case of Microsoft’s new platforms—Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. I’ve found the perfect solution.

ALSO don’t forget! — Check out my new sidekick, UNREALBANTER on Tumblr!

After trying every Google Reader client available on the Microsoft App Store, free or paid, I came across Nextgen Reader. It’s a paid app ($1.29) but once I knew that Windows Phone users could charge their apps to their monthly phone bill, I took the plunge. Boy was it worth it. Nextgen Reader did everything Newsify did on iPhone, plus some.

Much much more (full review) ahead:

wp_ss_20130114_0001

After bragging of it on Twitter, I was quickly approached by the devs themselves, asking me to test and give feedback on their Beta version. I jumped at the chance knowing that these guys are on the ball when it comes to keeping their apps innovative. Not long after drooling over the update, I was introduced to Windows 8 on the desktop. I needed a news app for when I’m not mobile, too. Surprise! Nextgen Reader done did it. They’re now considered an all-around news solution. The best one I’ve encountered in fact.

I’ve got some screenshots to get us rolling. I won’t go into all the new features in respect to the devs, since it hasn’t been released yet. First up (right) is the mobile app on the home screen.

wp_ss_20130115_0001

For those living under a rock, It’s also a Live Tile. It displays the number of unread articles, when there are any. It can update at intervals from 30 minutes to every few hours. It can optionally display the recent headline along with its associated image. You can’t get anything like that over on iOS. Live Tiles are a blessing. Same thing on Windows 8. (Hence how their apps’ teamwork is flawless)

(Left) is the subscriptions list. This is one thing many Google Reader clients on Windows Phone and all other platforms lack. The ability to see categories and each feed within. I can tap on the Apple category and view all the feeds within, or just tap on individual feeds if I’d like. There’s always a mark as read option, and an optional confirmation, to make sure you don’t accidentally lose your news. I prefer the fastest workflow possible though, so I turn off all warnings so I can fly through. If I miss one by accidentally marking all as read, I can just tap the ‘more’ dots on the button right to select ‘Show All’ and get back to it.

wp_ss_20130115_0002

(Right) The list now has options. This is the only new feature I’ll be getting into. The choice to now have photos beside your articles. But it goes a bit further than that. You can choose no images, large images, or small images beside the articles (as shown)..

The application is super snappy, not a bit of lag. One feature I have yet to see on any other reader, is the ability to choose from all mobilizers. Instapaper, Readability, Pocket, Google Mobilizer, and Google Mobilizer without images. You can choose to get the full article, or open it up in your default web browser. Which in this case is IE10, which is super snappy, and after opening an article in the browser, it’s only one click of the back button to get you right back in the app. No double tapping the home button and choosing the icon. One touch, and you’re right back where you left off.

Screenshot (11)

The last shot I’ll touch on is of the Windows 8 app (above). A very streamlined interface. Considering it’s the full desktop version of the app, it obviously takes advantage of the screen real estate with three panels—Subscriptions, Article List, and Article View. You have access to the same mobilizers you had on the mobile version. The app is snappy and flawless as before.

ALSO don’t forget! — Check out my new sidekick, UNREALBANTER on Tumblr!

Surprisingly this version has limitations, that you wouldn’t see on the mobile app. Weird, usually it’s the other way around, but yes, the desktop app has limitations. For some reason you cannot just send an article to Pocket, or Instapaper. You must have a Windows 8 app associated with what service you’d like to share to. On top of that, that app  has to be sharing enabled, via the Share Charm in the Windows 8 charm bar.

That’s all I wish they would implement  is the ability to save to Pocket and other services, inline. With a sidebar to log in to them like most other apps.

What’s your news solution on Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8? Got a better one? Hell, a better solution of any kind. Share in the comments.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s