An Alternative Android BBC News App With Widget

If you are not fan of the official  BBC News Android App, you might want to check out Jim Blacker’s version that focuses on retrieving the latest news content and providing it very efficiently, rather than including a lot of graphical elements that slow down the process of reading the news. The app retrieves content from the BBC’s web site and presents it in a format readable on smartphones. Users also have the ability to share links to the news articles with their friends via social networking sites.

When you start the BBC News app, you see two tabs as shown in the screenshot. Headlines provides titles of about ten of the BBC’s top articles, and the feeds tab provides a list of the different sections, or feeds from the BBC web site. Overall the app feels very much like a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) news feed reader, and I suspect it is exactly that, an RSS feed reader that only retrieves the feeds produced by the BBC.

You tap a feed name to open a list of the items in that feed, each of which has a small graphic and three sentences of content to provide an introduction to the article. When you open an article, it is retrieved from the Internet and displayed on the screen in a format that looks exactly like the BBC’s mobile web site. To share a link to the article, tap Menu, Share to open the default Android Sharing menu, which will include options like Facebook, or any Twitter apps that may be on your phone.

I like the fact that the app simply shares a URL to the article and does not include any extraneous information, which provides more room for entering your own comments in Twitter. If you are fan of the BBC, I think you will enjoy this app, which is available for free in the Android Market.