Developer: Vu Digital, LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
They say “no news is good news,” but if you’re a news junkie then that just isn’t so. And if you crave news of various types and sources, then VU might be good news indeed. A news aggregate app for iOS, VU pulls news stories from multiple web sources and has the ability to “predict” stories of interest to the established user. What makes VU nice for the average news junkie is the smooth interface and ease of use. Whether you’re serious about your news or just moderately interested in a few topics, VU is pretty ideal.
VU has a selection of topics ranging from health to entertainment, and while there is (as of yet) no way to populate a more personalized list of topics, VU does a pretty good job at aggregating similar stories based on previous use. One of the nice things about VU is the ability to browse different topics and sources without creating an account – just pick up and use. Of course to take advantage of all of VU’s features - including sharing and reacting to stories - you’ll need to create an account and integrate with Facebook, but at least you can try it out before signing up for yet another account.
VU is nicely displayed (though not for iPad) in a visually pleasant arrangement. To navigate, simply swipe up or sideways as required to navigate sections. Becoming accustomed to VU is pretty quick work and is definitely user-friendly. Strangely, a few features, like “refresh” are missing, but the lack of command buttons is probably a trade-off for the pleasant display. Nonetheless, VU strikes a nice balance between displaying just enough of a news snippet to make a decision to read, without requiring cumbersome back and forth. Once you open a story to read, you can easily return to the collection of stories for your chosen topic.
In achieving the goal of personalization, VU does a pretty good job. This feature requires an account, otherwise you’re like a new user every time. However, once you get the hang of VU and VU gets the hang of you, it achieves a moderately strong level of success without too many failures or drawbacks. For a free app that works to deliver organized, aggregated news stories based on user preference, VU is a solid choice and makes a great addition to any iPhone.