If you have a penchant for keeping tabs on the news from your smartphone, or latest movie releases for that matter, 2012 saw a slew of handy apps that could help you in your endeavors.
Indeed, The Next Web covered thousands of apps throughout this year, from nifty new browser extensions, to the latest game-changing Android and iOS apps, so we sifted through the archives and pulled out some of best news and media apps of 2012…just for you.
“The most intimate digital technology festival on the planet”
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Don’t miss our other 2012 lists for more great recommendations.
The Super Times
The Super Times serves up curated podcast playlists via its sweet iOS app.
Though the app itself is free, and there is a free playlist to whet users’ appetites, an in-app subscription of $2.99 (or your local currency equivalent) will get you access to the full suite of podcasts for six months.
What do you get? Well, a weekly curated playlist of some of the best in current news, documentaries, culture, books, science and history podcasts. It’s all about the spoken word…no music.
Goodfilms is a Web app that helps you find movies you’ll want to watch again and again.
To do so, it doesn’t rely solely on traditional criteria, such as awards and high-profile reviews…critically acclaimed movies aren’t necessarily your favorite ones.
This is why Goodfilms goes beyond quality and adds a new factor: re-watchability.
Flickd Movies for iOS is a pretty slick way to remember movies you don’t want to miss.
It’s a beautiful little app that lets you search for movies quickly to add to your bucket of ‘must-watch’ titles, displaying them in a slick poster-style format.
The app hooks into the Netflix movie database to deliver results with a summary and a full-screen high-res poster. This allows you to flick through the posters that you’ve added in a nicely visual way.
NewsWhip Spike is a powerful tool for tracking the world’s top trending news stories.
The Web app offers a granular service for detecting early news trends, plus seeing what’s really big over a longer period of time. Why would you need to know that? Well, unless you work as part of a busy newsroom, you likely aren’t the target audience here.
Showy helps you track your favorite TV shows and tick off episodes as you watch.
Showy reels in data from TheTVDB.com, a Wikipedia-style open database for TV shows, and the iOS app includes more than 30,000 programmes, so it’s more than likely your favorite shows will be on here.
The news aggregation service comes in the form of a Web and iOS app, scanning Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms in real-time, tapping predictive algorithms that surface trending stories before they break.
NewsMap is a neat little app to help you find local news anywhere in the world.
The premise is quite simple: you’re shown a map which you can click different regions on and a list of local publications for those regions are listed and linked to.
This is actually a great research tool, if you’re trying to find information about a specific part of the world quickly. Once you’ve drilled down to the region you want, you can select which type of publication you’d like, its focus, and what language it’s offered in.
Letterboxd is your life in film…a social network for movie buffs.
In the simplest terms, Letterboxd lets you share your taste in film, and get inspiration from others. But you can also use it as a simple diary to record your opinion about films as you watch them, and keep track of movies you’ve seen some time in the past. It lets you rate, review and tag films as you add them to your repository.
Vyclone is a collaborative video app…and it’s just what citizen journalists ordered.
The iOS app professes to let you “Record life from all angles” – in short, it lets users collaborate from different locations and perspectives to “co-create, sync and share movies.”
So let’s assume you’re watching the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – topical, I know – and you film a snippet of the procession using your iPhone. Vyclone lets you upload a clip to its servers, where other users can throw their own shots into the mix to create a crowdsourced movie encompassing, literally, different points-of-view. It really is excellent.
The Next Web has covered Flipboard on a number of occasions since it first arrived on the iPad way back in 2010. And it has gone from strength to strength since then, eventually landing on the iPhone last December. So where else could it go to continue to grow? Well, Android of course.
The Samsung Galaxy SIII was chosen as the official Olympic phone, but it was also selected for Flipboard’s first foray into the world of Android. The news-aggregating app-style magazine finally launched officially for Android in June.
The app includes subtitles and allow users to resume watching movies from where they left off via their desktop or iOS device. There are incentives attached to inviting friends to the service, with the chance of winning free access to Spuul’s premium movies and other prizes up for grabs for referrals.
NowThis News launched its digital video network for iOS back in November, built around two underlying tenets – mobile and social.
It’s essentially an attempt to create a video news network for the 21st century, switched-on digital generation. It offers original content, not just links to third-party online publications.
There won’t be a dedicated website from what we can tell, merely a mobile app and its dedicated BuzzFeed channel, which will help with the sharing of its content across the social sphere.
It’s also worth noting that NowThis News isn’t just linking to YouTube videos, this is proper branded NowThis News content. A really sweet service that should go from strength to strength.
Interested in other apps?
Hopefully you’ll be able to find at least a few apps here that have thus far escaped your radar. And if you want to check out the best productivity, lifehack, travel, media, education, employment and social apps of 2012 too, be sure to keep tabs on our upcoming roundups over the next week or so.
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