Microsoft’s offer for iOS users in terms of applications is increasing with the release of a news app. However, it looks so much like Apple’s own News service built into iOS 9, that it might not be the success Microsoft had in mind.
The catch with Microsoft’s app News Pro, is that it offers users a personalized experience by feeding them various articles matching their interests – stories and websites that you don’t know about but you might like.
The difference between Apple News and Microsoft’s News Pro is that the latter is powered by Bing News, and it uses information from your social networks to personalize its interface. Users can use either Facebook or LinkedIn to sign in for updates on their home feed that would interest them.
A TechCrunch employee tried the web version of News Pro to see how it works – and it seems the service needs some more time in the oven. After the keyword “TechCrunch” appeared under the interests tab, the app failed to display any stories from the TechCrunch website.
However, the mobile app should work slightly better, as both TechCrunch stories and technology news in general started updating in the home feed.
Thanks to a separate tab on the News Pro app, users can customize the industries and topics they want to follow, as well as products or organizations. Oddly enough, the tab is divided into two sections, “Browse” and “Pilot” – both of which seemed to be tasked with the same function: choosing topic choices.
It’s yet unclear what Microsoft was thinking when it added two different sections focused on personalizing the app’s content; the only difference is that Pilot also has thumbnails included in the list of choices.
News Pro users will be able to like and comment on stories they read in the app, as well as accessing the “Speedy Mode” option. This offers as sneak peek of a news article you might be interested in in a quick-to-load version.
However, if you’ve been using SmartNews on iOS, the Speedy Mode feature looks strikingly similar – even the green arrow signaling the option is nearly identical to the one used by Apple!
Sadly, Microsoft’s new app fails to come across as truly unique, and it seems like it clones its rivals directly, in some cases. Simply put, it feels like Microsoft’s News Pro has simply rehashed some of the feature we have already seen.
Image Source: iDownload Blog