Started by Matt Galligan and Ben Huh, Circa takes the top stories happening around the world and displays it as bite-size chunks of useful and relevant content. The company has a staff of editorial writers working behind-the-scenes to review the news and publish what it feels is most important. In October 2012, it launched its iPhone application in an attempt to help make it easier for people to consume the news.
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Today, the company has released what it calls Circa News 1.1 — its first post-launch release.
One of the major updates is the design refresh — it says that the team went over “every pixel with a fine toothed comb” and cleaned up the design to make it look great. While a subtle change, attentive users will notice that Circa abandoned its Livory typeface. It says that while it’s a beautiful font, it’s not particularly easy to read when it’s at a smaller size. However, it still remains the standard typeface for the Circa logo.
In its place, the company is using Meta Serif OT, which it says is “far more readable, but it’s also compressed, so overall readability and speed improve with this change.” Additionally, Helvetica Neue no longer is in the app. The default Apple font in iOS has been replaced with Adobe’s Source Sans Pro.
Circa says that it has also done some cleaning in its category menu design, which it says will make room for future plans for that space.
With its featured articles, the company has also made some tweaks to the design. In its original design, only one featured story could be promoted at a time. Now, it has replaced that design with a “carousel-like marquee” — something that it believes will help the service in a time when there are multiple big stories throughout the day.
Other updates that come with Circa News 1.1 include:
- Share by email: Stories can now be shared not only across social networks, but through email privately to those readers who might find it interesting.
- Pull to refresh and loading indicator: Circa says that in the original version, knowing when the app was refreshing was nearly impossible to determine. It says that it moved away from a refresh button and changed it to a “pull to refresh” style and included an indicator to let readers know when the app was refreshing.
- Swipe to go back: The app now includes a simple gesture that allows users to swipe right on the screen to go back to the story list.
- Marking followed stories as read and swipe-to-unfollow: Circa allows users to follow specific stories that they like and this update includes a new way to manage them. It now includes the ability to mass-mark unread stories and “easily swipe in the ‘My Followed Story’ list to unfollow them.”
Circa’s update helps to make the way it presents the news a much cleaner and functional experience. With a rather experienced editorial team on staff, the company’s efforts to spruce up what the reader sees and improves the way information is delivered is going to be a win for the app.
The company says that the update will be available in the App Store “within a few hours.”
Update: Circa tells us that the update is now available in the App Store.
Photo credit: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images
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