The app turns feeds of any type into a clean newspaper layout, much like Flipboard does on the iPad. It’s simple, yet extremely functional at the same time. The design is a bit reminiscent of recently updated Instapaper, but Newstream stands alone as a discovery app, not based on the premise of marking things to read later.
Discovering feeds to read on Newstream
RSS feeds haven’t been the most consumer friendly technology. Most people don’t understand the technology behind what an RSS feed is, so Newstream takes that confusion out of the equation. Simply search for things or publications that interest you and add it to your saved feeds.
Newstream lets you turn images off, and asks you whether you want to see a full story or just a summary. Not a lot of options here, but it’s well executed.
Reading your news
When you open Newstream, you can swipe from right to left to cycle through your subscriptions. It’s nice to have a mix of blogs as well as Twitter feeds, as everything shows up in the same clean design.
Once you’ve read an article you can Tweet it, email, or post it to Facebook. The simplicity of Newstream shines through here, not giving you a lot of useless bells and whistles. The newspaper-like layout is easy on the eyes at any brightness level, and the Flipboard style swiping lets you consume a lot of information quickly.
Once in a while you’ll catch Newstream showing random HTML tags, but that’s easy to overlook and doesn’t seem to be a huge issue.
After spending a few days with Newstream, I’ve decided that it’s the easiest way to add more publications to my reading on the go. It also gave me the opportunity to start from scratch with my reading list, which was nice. There’s no desktop version or way to manage your subscriptions online though, which is a plus of a service like Google Reader. The app is $2.99, and will serve you well if you’re suffering from information overload.