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Circa News for iPhone App Review

The problem with current affairs is that there are just so many of them and if, like me, you are one of those people who does not keep up with the news, has the honest intention to but no idea where to start, then Circa News could be the app you are looking for. A lot of news has happened since people started recording it and if you are completely clueless (yes, like me) about certain things like political developments then you need a simplified version of it to get you going. With the presidential election just around the corner, this app could not come along at a better time.

The first item hot off the press is the fact that Circa News is completely free from the App Store now and if you have any interest in keeping up to date it is well worth checking out. Circa News is the result of a collaboration involving Ben Huh, the man responsible for that incredibly annoying “can haz cheeseburger” meme but don’t let that out you off because he has channelled is creativity more positively here to bring us a hugely useful app that provides an accessible approach to reading the news.

The news is presented in a much different way to how you will see it on TV or in newspapers, if those still exist in physical form, as it has been broken down into bitesize chunks. The thinking behind the creation of this app is that the basic elements of a story provide all you need to know and the rest of a complete article is merely padding. Circa aims to boil every news story down to the facts and present this in an easy-to-read format.

Stories are presented with a series of what are essentially flashcards, each one filling the screen and containing at least one piece of important information, often with an accompanying picture too. Users can swipe through these easily enough and take in a fair amount of stories in minutes. If a particular story grabs you, you can set up notifications for whenever an update or related story pops up. The app basically follows the news for you.

Presenting news like this makes sense considering the format. When people look up news stories on their mobile devices, it is often on the move or for a few minutes while waiting for a bus. During this short period they are unlikely to want anything too in-depth to read so short, basic stories are ideally suited here. However it may leave other users longing for a few more details and more dedicated followers of news will want to read all about it.

But even if you are one of the people who like to take their time over the news, Circa is a great way to hear about breaking news instantly and at the very least it can provide you with some research material for later on. A story like the election will feature many brief updates throughout the day and for situations like this, it is perfect. Besides, I find it reassuring that journalism has not been replaced here.

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