2020’s Best News Apps

Isaac Fernandez

Fun fact about news and apps: app.com brings you breaking news from New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press. They’re a local daily newspaper that was first published in 1879 and is currently owned by Gannett, who also owns publishers like USA Today and the Detroit Free Press.

APP has an app for Android and iOS. So, we guess you could say, news and apps (or at least… APP) have been bedfellows for a lot longer than you’d think! That’s enough fun facts to this list of the best news apps you can get in 2020 (not 1879).

Best News Apps for Any Preference

Best News Apps for Any Preference

One of the best perks of many of these news apps is that you don’t need to calibrate them for only-serious-news-all-the-time. You can use them to keep up with important or breaking stories, but also use them to find interesting reads from around the web, entertainment news, pop culture, and even your own specific interests like favorite sports teams or TV shows.

Best Free News Apps Backed by Big Names

Perhaps none of these are objectively the best news aggregator — we’ll get into options below with a greater variety of features, accessibility, and interfaces. But if you want simple and easy access to news, linked to an existing account, this is a great way to get it.

Google News

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with ads.
  • Google News comes pre-loaded onto many Android phones as part of the native Google apps bundle. If you opt to use it with your main account, Google will import some of your preferences and topics of interest from your Discover feed, making the transition quick and easy.
  • Interesting features on Google News include browsing related coverage under certain trending articles and following a timeline of coverage on unfolding stories.

Apple News

  • Available on iOS. 
  • There are different iPhone news applications, but it can be hard to beat the built-in Apple News for convenience plus variety.
  • Free with the option to upgrade to an Apple News+ subscription, which unlocks paid publications in almost every niche like GQ, Rolling Stone, The Wallstreet Journal, Wired, and Sports Illustrated, just to name a handful.

Microsoft News

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with ads.
  • A good option for those integrated into a Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Though reviews note that the app can be finicky and frustrating, it’s generally regarded as a fair aggregation, with a good mix between serious politics, events, and markets, and lighter entertainment, lifestyle, and sports content.

Independent News Aggregator Apps and RSS Feeds 

Willing to shop around and experiment to find a news app that best fits your tastes? Try some of these.

Flipboard

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with ads.
  • One of the best news apps Android has on offer, it comes pre-loaded onto some Android phones, and you will be hooked on it before you know it. 
  • Flipboard’s namesake feature is that you flip through an aggregation of story cards rather than scrolling. You can personalize by following topics and sources, create private or public collections called magazines, or browse headlines and other curated collections.

Feedly

  • Available on Android and iOS.
  • This RSS feed reader has great tech coverage in particular but allows you to follow whatever topics or publications you’d like. It also supports adding in blogs, YouTube channels, research journals, and Twitter feeds.
  • Free with the option of a pro subscription that unlocks a few additional features. Historically, one of the best Android news apps to try.

Inoreader

  • Available on Android and iOS.
  • This simple Feedly alternative is an RSS news feed reader with a free and paid pro tier, based around personalization. It has a save feature for later functions and lets you search and organize your added feeds.
  • The paid version unlocks basic features like push notifications, offline reading, and filtering, and also enables you to add automated rules for sorting and alerting you to incoming content.

Pocket

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with the option to upgrade to a premium subscription that can be billed monthly or annually that unlocks additional features.
  • Pocket lets you save articles and pages from all over the web and even from within other apps but also has a well-curated discovery tab that you can narrow by topic.
  • Pocket is accessible on the web and offline as well; one of their best features is the built-in page reader that allows you to listen instead of only read.

Plenary RSS Feed 

Available on Android.

  • Plenary is a customizable, offline RSS feed reader with no ads and no login required. 
  • It’s in active development at the time of writing so that you can provide feedback to the developers, but there may be some things you find lacking. You can try it and find out!
  • Premium features available by subscription or as a one-time lifetime purchase.

Newsify: RSS Reader

  • Available on iOS. Free with ads and premium subscriptions available on a monthly or yearly plan removes ads and unlocks features.
  • This news feed reader is packed with options and features, and when you create an account, you can access it from your desktop, too. The app supports offline reading.
  • A great alternative to Apple News, with rave reviews.

Refind

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free.
  • Refind is a newer player on the scene that will curate 10 of the day’s most relevant stories for you from around the web, based on your preferences and reading habits.
  • There are additional links you can browse beyond your 10, sorted into a “reading list.” You can also save stories for later, but Refind will help remind you to finish them.

News Directly from the Source

If what you crave is news hot off the wire, or to get your favorite publication on your phone, go this route.

AP News

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with ads.
  • As the Associated Press so succinctly puts it, “Where the news gets its news.”
  • You can customize your feed and notifications to see the stories and topics most important to you and also browse all other topics at will, including local and trending news.

Reuters News

  • Available on Android and iOS. Free with ads.
  • Reuters, as opposed to the AP, has a more global/international tilt and more financial and economic stories. 
  • There’s also video integration, offline reading, and a save for later function. It can be personalized for what you find most relevant, too, with the option for a market watchlist of particular interest.

Your Digital Publishers of Choice

  • It’s difficult to reliably get less popular news sources to pop up with a regular aggregator. Specifically download conservative news apps or more radical ones, if the website offers it, to easily browse those sources as well. 
  • Consider if you just like seeing a particular publisher’s coverage (think BBC, The Guardian, ESPN, local news). Check if they offer an app (BBC, the Guardian, and ESPN all do!) and get access to their stories directly; likewise, if you’re supporting a publisher through a subscription, be sure to take full advantage of it using their app.

Alternative News Formats

Podcast Addict

  • Available on Android. Free with an ad banner or ads can be disabled with an in-app purchase.
  • Podcast Addict bundles together audio content like podcasts, radio, audiobooks, and SoundCloud, along with YouTube channels and RSS feeds. It moves beyond being a news app, but it works really well for that!
  • You’ll still have access to your regular online news sources, but it’s particularly useful if you like to digest your news over the airwaves.

Newsy

  • Available on Android and iOS.
  • The Newsy app is video-based, from one of the news aggregator sites/publishers that prides itself on an unbiased representation of the facts. 
  • It’s free with ads, although the app can be finicky on some devices. Luckily, Newsy is also available on connected TVs and online.
Takeaway 

News aggregator websites can be hit or miss. It all depends on whether you can find a team with a voice and values that you connect with. News aggregator apps don’t have that same problem — they can compile stories directly from their sources all over the web and serve them up unchanged like a great big information potluck.

Ultimately, the best news app for Android or iOS, whichever platform you’re on, is going to be one with the interface and features you enjoy most. Fix your internet connection and don’t be afraid to shop around. You’ve got a lot more choices than in 1879, and that’s excellent news.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Affiliate Disclaimer

Please understand that in some cases we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.