Microsoft's MSN News: A solid, usable news app for iOS
The times, they are a-changin' over in Redmond. Microsoft spent the last couple of months embracing iOS users instead of shunning them. In the old days, Microsoft kept a lot of apps for the sole use of Windows Phone users, but with that platform faltering they are reaching out to iOS and Android users. Office for the iPad was the first big give to the iOS community, although over the years Microsoft had sprinkled a few minor apps on us.
Another result was the release just this week of several new iOS apps from the Bing team, and we'll consider one of those today -- MSN News (free) -- in light of the competition.
MSN News has a clean and useable user interface. If you have a Microsoft login, you can keep the app synced between devices. Just about any subject I typed into the search engine resulted in hits, even if they were obscure. Local news is supported, along with alerts if you wish to receive them.
Like most news apps, stories can be shared with others via Twitter, Facebook, text or email. Lots of news sources are included, including TUAW in the technology section.
Text size and spacing is adjustable, which is a worthwhile feature, and you even have a choice of two fonts. I think the only thing missing is the ability to learn from your reading preferences, something that Zite, Flipboard and some other news apps do very well. MSN News seems similar to News Republic, which also does a lovely presentation of news stories.
MSN News is a solid entry in the news race. It has a very agreeable look, and you can see the news source even in the headline view. I've added it to my favorite news app folder, and you might want to do the same.
MSN News requires iOS 7.1 or later and its been optimized for the latest iPhones and iPads.
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