Sometimes, I’ll read an article about some subject and wonder what the history is behind it. If I have time, I might even perform a search to track down more useful information. However, most of the time, I just think about it and move on.
Timeline is much more than a news reader. It takes headline news and adds historical context to help you understand the content much deeper. We’ve got an in-depth app review of Timeline for you today.
The idea behind the service is that stories you read need context. So, Timeline’ editorial team curates a list of related stories so you can follow along with history and major events that have taken place with one particular subject.
The Front Page section takes news information that is relevant today (like the State of the Union, e-cigarettes, and gay marriage), and explores the topics on a deeper level. If you prefer to focus on a specific category, you can browse through Timelines based on U.S. and world news, technology, business, politics, science, health, sports, lifestyle, and entertainment.
The feed is presented with a list of headlines, each with a relevant picture. Tap on a story to read the Timeline. You can either scroll through the entire set of contextual stories in linear fashion, or tap the Timeline View to see all related stories and switch to a specific one you are most interested in.
Each article includes pictures, links to other stories on the subject, and some even have videos that you can watch via YouTube. When you tap on a link, you will see the original website and have the option to read the entire article.
What immediately struck my interest when testing this app is how well the stories are curated. Not only do you get an overview of some important subject that is in the news a lot, but you can also read all about the history of it. Some information dates back to the 1800s.
I started reading about “The Push to Ban E-Cigarettes.” The first section gives an overview of the current state of e-cigarettes (or “e-cigs” as they are referred to). The second section starts in 1963 when the first smokeless cigarette was patent. Subsequent articles refer to what information we have on the safety of e-cigs, the FDA’s involvement in attempting to regulate them, and more. By the time I was done reading everything, I felt like I had a much better understanding of the topic so that I can present a better-informed opinion the next time I talk about it with friends.
I love the way these stories are presented. This is not just a computer-generated amalgamation of news stories with a similar topic. It is clear that a staff of writers is behind the scenes, painstakingly tracking down as much information as possible. It’s like reading a college research paper, only not as boring (sorry students).
Some of the content loads very slowly. When I tap on a link, it regularly takes five to 10 seconds to load the additional content.
It also desperately needs iPad support. This would look incredible on a larger screen.
Timeline is free. For the amount of information and work that goes into creating content, I can’t believe they aren’t charging upwards of five bucks for this app. There aren’t even any advertisements.
Anyone looking to deepen their understanding of popular news topics or just looking for more information will thoroughly enjoy reading the content provided in this app. I am already hooked on it and I’ve only been using it for a day. This app is available for download in the App Store today.
Frankly, I’ve never seen a news app like this. However, for a customizable news reading experience, Flipboard is an obvious choice.