We know you already know this, but it might be time to start looking outside of Facebook for the latest headlines.
All too often, we lean on the algorithm to take care of the discovery process on our behalf.
Because it’s challenging to keep track of every news source, app, and website out there, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. These can help you catch up on the news from your smartphone.
Best news apps
1. Apple News/Apple News +
Yes, it comes default with your iPhone, the latest happenings, be it climate change research or the most recent antics from some Kardashian.
Apple News is free, but the company recently rolled out the new + service. Now, if you’re using the free version, it seems like a lot of what used to be available is now part of the upgrade.
That said, if you use the app, $9.99/month gives you access to content that’s typically gated, like The Wall Street Journal or the Los Angeles Times.
For $9.99, Apple News+ isn’t a bad deal — though there are some kinks that they need to work out when it comes to creating a seamless, cohesive experience. For instance, some magazine articles are PDFs versions of the original.
We’re sure that Apple will keep improving the app, in the meantime, the “Netflix for magazines” is a pretty good deal.
Pocket is a great app for those who like scrolling through a long list of articles and saving the ones that pique their interest for a later reading sesh.
Pocket is a distraction-free reading experience, kind of like reading a book on the Kindle. All articles are hand-picked by you, downloaded and stored to your phone. So, when you do sit down to read, you’re not bombarded with recommendations or notifications. (That said, you can see recommendations based on what you save and like if you choose.)
The app works on your phone and desktop and presents a minimal, calming interface that design lovers will appreciate. Pocket is free, with the option to upgrade. The premium account is still a pretty good deal at $44 for an annual subscription.
What makes this a different experience than some of the other platforms like Apple or Google News is that your reading list is a saved, searchable archive. You can use this to keep track of reference articles, save recipes you find online, or whatever else you’d like to file away for later use.
Best of all, Pocket works offline. Save up dozens of stories, then enjoy them all on an airplane if you like.
Inkl’s whole goal is to help you break the habit of clicking on junky articles and bringing high-quality content straight to your smartphone.
You can create filters based on preferences or location, but the platform prides itself on their algorithm that scans for quality over engagement. Basically, Inkl is an antidote to what’s been going on with YouTube and Facebook as of late.
Like Apple News +, you’ll pay $10 a month to use the tool, but that takes care of the paywall problem. Again, it’s actually a good deal if you’re subscribed to a few websites already.
4. NPR News
If you’re more interested in receiving your news through the airwaves, then the NPR News Radio app is a nice pick for quality news. Plus, you get access to the network’s podcasts and local stations across the country.
You can follow your favorite stations and programs, and stream them on-demand, listen to live radio, and yes, you can also read stories. NPR is always a good resource for trustworthy news, but it’s also an excellent destination for entertainment, music, and arts/culture.
5. Lumi News
Lumi News promises to deliver a personalized news feed based on your interests through the power of data science. How it works is, users will connect their social accounts, select topics, and publications they already like. As you interact with the platform, it will deliver more relevant content based on past habits.
Recommendations come in the form of top news sources, as well as indie blogs, audio, and video content they think you might like.
The only downside with something like this is if you click on too many BuzzFeed listicles and celebrity gossip headlines, Lumi might think those are your preferences.
What’s extra nice is that Lumi News also allows you to save stories to your phone to read them offline. So, load up when you’re connected to Wi-Fi to prevent yourself from running low on data every month, or stock up on reading materials before a flight.
6. AP News
The Associated Press is pretty much the gold standard for actual fair and balanced news across the globe. Many news outlets share their stories and follow the AP Style when writing stories.
Unlike the options we just mentioned, AP News is not an aggregate platform. All stories come from the Associated Press’s global network of journalists, allowing readers to keep up on local news, as well as what’s happening around the world.
Users can follow topics, specific AP-affiliated newsrooms, and listen to radio news, watch videos, and scroll through galleries. AP News is similar to NPR’s app, in that the news comes from one source, but there’s a ton of content, regional networks and a long list of topics at your disposal.
When choosing whatever news you like, always look for a bias to determine whether what you are hearing is truly “fair and balanced.” Hopefully, at least one of these apps gave you the option you need to stay informed.