If you have ever travelled on a metro line you know what it’s like to whiz from one station to the next, always holding out for the next patch of reception somewhere between the constant outages afflicting your iPhone. Most times, the internet will cut out in the least opportune moments, like on your commute home when you slump in your seat and want to mindlessly gaze at moving images on your phone.
To weather the crisis of poor connection, Hyper News functions as a pocket of pre-downloaded news clips to fall back on whenever your data leaves you hanging.
In a spell of news apps being tested at iDB, Hyper News stands out for its utter simplicity and the concerted effort to occupy a unique space in the news realm. Here are the ins and outs to know about Hyper News.
News apps can be pretty overwhelming at times. Create a profile, browse through an array of channels and pick the ones you want to follow, tell the app about your interests, bookmark the articles you want saved for offline reading, and so on and so forth.
In a refreshing twist, Hyper News completely goes against the grain and is ready to roll the moment it touches down on your Home screen. Simply launch the app, scrub a smart lever to determine how much media the app is allowed to download in the background and watch the stories pour in. This is simplicity done right.
The news stories – some of which test the limits of what constitutes ‘news’ – are arranged in stacks of five and about a minute long each. As soon as they are downloaded, you can easily swipe left to move through the stack.
On the flip side, this much simplicity naturally comes at a price, so let’s quickly broach that subject.
As touched on, many of these stories really resemble Snapchat news stories in both presentation and content. It will do when you are stuck in the tube and have no other means of entertainment handy, but it would certainly benefit from video curation mechanisms based on personal likes. Granted I touted the lack of such features as a great example of simplicity, but I suppose it goes to show the conundrums app creators have to face and how hard it can be to please end users.
The moment you have finished watching one stack, Hyper News will automatically discard the stories in exchange for new material. It’s pragmatic and functional, but it also means no direct option to hold on to your favorite stories.
Be aware that every time you want to procure more content, the app needs to at least run in the background. This is not a big deal though and popping open Hyper News briefly before you leave the house is hardly asking too much.
In the upshot the developer team from Berlin has managed to rig up a news app whose primary scope of application is very niche, but what matters most is that it’s good at that. The app effectively solves the problem of watching news in adverse conditions, which is going to resonate with many travellers. The maximum amount of storage room to carve out for Hyper News is 0.5GB, translating to a good hour of offline videos in total.
Hyper News requires iOS 9.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Find it for free in the App Store.