Android tablets do not have a lot of apps designed for their bigger displays (when compared to Android smartphones). Today, a new app specifically designed for tablets running Android Honeycomb (OS 3.x): News360. News360 is already available for the Apple iPad and has remarkable average customer rating of 5-stars (out of possible 5) for its current iPad version.
I tested News360 for Honeycomb on a WiFi-only Motorola Xoom running Android OS 3.1. News360 for Android Honeycomb tablets looks very similar to the iPad version. The Android tablet verions is missing, however, the ability to look at news sorted by news source (e.g., CNN). News360 provides a rich set of news sources in a large number of categories including, U.S., World, Business, Tech, Health, Arts & Culture and Science. News360 provides the first paragraph or two of a selected article and lets you view the original article from the source site in a pull-up window.
News360 provides five options to share or archive news items: Facebook, Twitter, ReadItLater, Instapaper and Email. However, as noted below, the Email sharing option did not work in the Android tablet version.
The app has a couple of issues I’ve found so far:
1. News360 sometimes crashes on launch. However, a second attempt always starts the app correctly.
2. Attempts to share a news article via Email always results in a request to login into Dropbox. Dropbox is not on the list of service options to share news.
3. The 360 (degrees) view option did not work. A blank screen is displayed instead of scrolling photos (as seen on the iPad)
4. Asking for Local news results in just a few (as few as two) local news items with a long list of items from locations scattered across the U.S. following the local news. The iPad version has the same issue of lack of local news for my area.
Putting issues described above aside, I found News360 to provide a good tablet interface, good performance and a rich set of news sources in a large number of categories. News360 is a free app available in the Android Market.
Note: Motorola’s PR firm provided me with a short-term use of a WiFi-only Motorola Xoom for review purposes.