Fluent Mobile releases the first news aggregator iPhone app

David Winograd
D. Winograd|06.30.09

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Fluent Mobile releases the first news aggregator iPhone app
Fluent Mobile has released an innovative news oriented iPhone app that may be a game changer. The Fluent Mobile app aggregates mobile ready content from multiple content providers. According to M:Metrics in January of this year, mobile news sites were visited over 63 million times and the number is growing. This is a huge market.

Currently 1.5% of all web content is Google optimized and nicely formatted for mobile devices and the number is increasing. Fluent Mobile takes advantage of this content and aggregates it, creating a news portal with content from Bloomberg for business, ESPN for sports, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News and USA Today, among others, for news. Upon launch, content will be provided by 32 separate sources and more will be added as relevant sites become mobile enhanced. For the first time an app provides one-stop shopping for news.

The information is organized well, allowing you to choose from a number of categories including U.S. News, Entertainment, Sports, Business, and Travel.
A very nice feature is that when viewing a list of stories, only one story per topic is listed, but you can go deeper and read other stories on the same topic. For example, there might be 20 stories from various sources about Bernie Madoff getting 150 years in prison. The app will only show one story and display a Related Stories button showing the number of stories found. Tapping on that button will bring up all the related stories allowing you to drill down to multiple sources. This design choice saves you from scrolling over story after story about the same thing, but you can get the information if you want it.

The Fluent Mobile app pre-fetches data allowing you to read stories when offline. I can see this as adding a great deal of utility since most news apps require you to be connected through Wi-Fi or your cellular data service.

As is common with news apps stories can be shared via Email, Facebook and Twitter. Passwords for services will be remembered within the app.

One downside is that although news is well formatted for reading on the iPhone, landscape mode is not available. This is because not all the content providers have landscape enabled sites but this will be corrected in a future release. Also planned for the future is a premium version that will allow more user customization.

The app is free being monetized through advertising. Pick up a copy and let us know what you think.

Here is a video demonstrating the Fluent Mobile app.

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