A quick look at BlackBerry News

BlackBerry News...not BlackBerry News Feeds
By Joseph Holder on 10 Jun 2011 01:18 pm EDT

I love it! That's it; BlackBerry News is awesome. End of story; enjoy the rest of your day.

I suppose I should go into a little more detail. Just yesterday, Research In Motion released BlackBerry News for the PlayBook. If you don't know, BlackBerry News is a Really Simply Syndication (RSS) feed reader. Most RSS readers, like BlackBerry News Feeds for the BlackBerry smartphone, give you lists; lots of lists. Usually your feeds are in a list; opening a feed (like the one for CrackBerry.com) brings up a list of the most recent articles.

BlackBerry News is like no RSS reader I know. Forget lists, how about reading your articles like in a newspaper? I know that header image up there spoils a bit of the surprise, but BlackBerry News lays out articles from your feed in a format that's very easy on the eyes. Along with the headline and sometimes an image (depending on the article), you'll get a sampling of the news item; letting you quickly decide if that news is worth your time


BlackBerry News & BlackBerry News Feeds

Not being content with that, Research In Motion took BlackBerry News a few steps further. First, the layout of the articles differs from page to page. Sometimes you'll have four articles in a page; sometimes you'll have more. Amazingly, BlackBerry News even crops and moves images around to give you an engaging look at your articles. Secondly, BlackBerry News syncs with BlackBerry News Feeds if you have it installed on your smartphone. The first time I started the PlayBook app, I was pleasantly surprised to find all my feeds from BBNF pulled into BlackBerry News.

With any brand-new product, there are bound to be some tiny glitches. Frequently when touching the read more links in articles, the web browser crashes before loading the full article. Better way: swipe down from the top to open the options menu and touch the Browser button. Secondly, syncing with BlackBerry News Feeds seems to only happen the first time the app loads. I was hoping the two apps would sync back and forth as I added feeds to both, but no luck as of yet.

I am impressed at the amount of effort and forethought that went in to making this app. It is visually appealing, plays videos right inside the app, and - most importantly - is highly usable. BlackBerry News is without a doubt the best RSS reader for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

More information / download BlackBerry News for the PlayBook More information / download BlackBerry News Feeds for the BlackBerry Smartphone

Reader comments

A quick look at BlackBerry News


a little pissed at the number of writers like joseph holder that promote apps without promoting the fact that they are for us/can only . come on guys there is life outside of the us and soon in sixteen more countries .

is it too much to ask for a sports section on this news app? the whole pb is seriously lacking in the sports news and scores area. why not a pb version of scoremobile. only thing they have is hockey news...damn canadians lol

one of my most used apps - but why on an update do all the items in all feeds become unread and the alert settings are lost...

On looks and feel - great! Useability - not sold.

The key sentence underlying the review, IMO, is:
"BlackBerry News syncs with BlackBerry News Feeds if you have it installed on your smartphone."

In other words, if you don't, you're left having to input them manually one at a time, because there is no way to sync it with any other aggregator (e.g. google reader) or import them via
a file.

I expect these features will appear at some point, so no doubt I'll eat these words one day. For now, I'll stick with GeeReader when I'm online and good old Viigo on my 9000 for offline viewing.

(On the whole, I'm still waiting for a really good rss app... seems none have found the magical combo of good offline viewing, aggregator sync and/or import via file, descent interface, etc. Probably I just want Viigo with a touch-based, snazzy interface. Until then, the market it's a market waiting to be captured I think.)

Yes, it looks nice and pleasantly smooth to surf in my PB. I had it installed in my BB Curve yesterday evening; nevertheless I cannot access it from the PB and that is the reason why I decided to install it separately in the PB as well.
By the way, glad that I did, for it is much more pleasurable to access it through the PB.

sounds great, but not showing up on the store here in the Uk... why would this be a us only release when everything else seems to be released at the same time on there.

Why would people expect RIM to certify and test an App for the Playbook in countries where it is not yet available? It just doesn't make sense to waste the time doing so until the device is actually on sale in your country, wait until it is released in your country and I'm sure it will be made available.

Am I crazy or does that just make sense, RIM is pushing hard to update the Playbook and the new phones, why waste time on supporting grey market devices?

You mean like BB News, Traffic and Podcasts - all of which cannot be used outside of the US on the phones?

I'm fairly sure that BlackBerry phones have been available outside of the US and Canada for some time now....

This is just typical of RIM and it has nothing to do with commercial availability.

Why doesn't RIM let use their apps when tethering? News app wont update your feeds when tethered, App world doesnt work when tethered....

Are they trying to limit you to Wifi connectivity on these apps so theres an incentive to buy the 4G vesion?

I don't get it

Love the app so far, it is great. Works flawlessly with out a hitch at all, RSS feeds, the news already there is good too!

The newsprint layout and throurough newsfeed library are great... 4 stars. If this app would sync to a google reader account it would be perfect.