When you're in a certain environment it's easy to feel a bit isolated, that is unless there are others like you close at hand. Take technology for instance. I work with people whose job it is to understand at a deep geek level a broad spectrum of technologies. Some may not seem related at first glance, but could be significant to any number of devices and processes in the not so distant future.
The more geeky among you will at least have heard of graphene and some of the hopes and expectations being pinned on the stuff.
For those of you who don't know, graphene is a new carbon-based material that is unbelievably thin (1 atom), unbelievably strong, and unbelievably versatile. It could allow for the creation of an iPhone that fits in your wallet, iPads that roll up into neat little tubes, and mass produced quantum computing MacBook Airs. Yes, we're talking Asimovian, '64 World Fair: World of Tomorrow stuff.
Graphene may appear in normal news outlets, but articles about it are normally buried under news about Justin Bieber's recreational activities, Cliven Bundy's reality distortion field, and Heartbleed. If you want to know about Graphene and other wonders of science and technology you really can't depend on CNN to give it to you. You need to get that sort of news from sources that focus on science and technology.
Yeah, sure, you could get a news aggregator app that'll let you define which outlet to track, but then you have to decide which outlet to track. A better option might be to get a tech news aggregator designed specifically for tech news. I know of a few, as you may have surmised by now, and that's the topic for the week, so let's get to get.
Ez Tech News [826 KB, runs on all iOS device capable of running iOS 4.0 or later, Maker: Brandon Skaer]
Here's a nice app with all the features you could want in a tech news app. You get easily accessible categories, the latest news headlines at the top of the list with dates, and direct links to the actual article. And at less than 1 MB in size, its one of the smallest apps you'll find. All that is good news.
Pick a category in Ez Tech News
What's not so good is that you'll need good eyesight to read the list, the characters are eyestrain-small while the apps name and category heading takes up a good 1/5 of the iPhone's precious screen real estate. There no landscape mode either, which would have been welcomed. Sharing what you've found can only be done through Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Still, it's hard to argue with a free, wee app gets the job done. Check it out.
Tech News Tube [12.7 MB runs on all iOS device capable of running iOS 5.1 or later, Maker: Ryan Kaier]
Tech News Tube has a nice layout. Articles with pix are listed according to published times and provide direct links to the articles on the host sites. Navigation is simple and help is always a "I' tap away.
This app gives you a nice array sharing and viewing options and you can elect to read some articles later, when mobile access to the Internet isn't around. You also have a nice selection of tech news outlet to pick through as well.
Lots of sources
Downside? Ads, but even those are small. And so is the text.
Still, it's easy to use and free.
Tech Wire [3.7 MB runs on all iOS device capable of running iOS 3.1 or later, Maker: Milkshake Labs, Inc]
This one is likely the oddest looking of the three. Odd in that it doesn't look like a new aggregator. The background of its front page is a pretty pastoral scene. Time and date are also displayed. The menu options are listed vertically. In fact, the app's home page looks like a phone's home page.
Tap on the one of the listed sites and the news items listed on that site appears. Tap an article and it appears along with a red bar on which you'll find comment, sharing options, and a "like" selectors. You can only share through email Twitter and Facebook. You also don't have quite the selection of news sources the other aggregators have.
The nice thing is that it is truly free. No ads.
So, nice home page, ad free, and interesting navigation makes this an app to consider.