Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LeadStory news aggregateLeadStory News aggregate by Movil Mobile Software

App Review   ----   ☕☕☕☕ /☕☕☕☕☕
Works on: Win 10 and Win 8 phones

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/leadstory/9nblggh5z1vc

When I originally looked at LeadStory, I was underwhelmed with it. Actually, I was put off by it’s ugly as sin interface so I put it in my pile to revisit. It’s one of those cases where I’m glad I returned. The clean-up was worth the wait. Behind that modest little icon lies an efficient app for your Windows phone.

I am a news junky and often have up to 5 different news feeds on my phone at any point in time. I have a rule, if the app consistently takes over 40 sec to load, it goes in the garbage heap unless it offers an outstanding feature I can’t live without. That means apps come and go with shocking speed on my humble Windows phone. I just checked, I’ve tested out over 300 apps so far. LeadStory made the cut for two reasons – it’s minimalist design and speed. Oh 3 – ads don’t take over the screen. That’s the kiss of death as far as any app is concerned. Pop up and cover my screen and make it difficult to close the ad, well … let’s just not go there.

LeadStory is nimble. It loads feeds usually in under 5 seconds. It doesn’t weigh content down with a bunch of outdated stories, instead, pushing the top news from each category. Compare that to MSN’s News app which takes nearly a minute to load. I keep MSN on my start page for fun. I call it the “App to measure all news apps by”, not because it’s good, because it’s so fricking slow. If your app is faster than the typical 50 sec load time for MSN, that’s a good start.

The overall design is almost Zen like. Clean, simple and easy to navigate, not a lot of frills. But then, why LeadStory categories add crap that will slow the app down? This also means there isn’t much you can adjust. But the designers offer what I deem one of the most important features – the ability to adjust font size. You can also set the background to dark rather than the traditional white if that floats your boat.

You can customize your news feed as well, tailoring your feed with specific alerts: It’s very easy to setup new alerts. One complaint I have is the lack of info on removing custom feeds. It’s surprisingly easy to remove them without realising it. I had my thumb on one of the feeds I created and before I realized what I’d done, I removed it. Before I figured out what was happening I accidently removed two others. A small drop down menu that says “Get your thumb off my feed” would help avoid this. “Delete feed” would suffice though.

It would also be nice if they added the ability to remove categories. I don’t follow sports or entertainment and usually remove them on any app. That’s a small issue, but I like to tailor my news readers a lot and I miss this option.

Like most apps, LeadStory includes a share feature that allows you to send a story via email. They also offer a few other options, depending on how your phone is customized. You can send to messaging, Reading List, OneNote and in my case Flipboard and Facebook. The only minor irritate is having to remove the self-promotion the app inserts into sharing. Can’t fault them on promoting their app though.

Upgrading to the pro version will set you back a princely .99c. You can’t even get a cup of awful coffee for that price so it’s a bargain. Well worth checking out.

LeadStory feed

 

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#@!% app. Why isn't it working?

- Catpaw, 2016

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