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Sponsored App Review: Swipe: Lock Screen News

October 14, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Description: Swipe is a new way of accessing your favorite news feeds on your smartphone; right from your lockscreen. With Swipe, whenever you turn your device on you’re greeted with the latest news story from one of your chosen RSS feeds. You can either swipe right to unlock your phone or swipe to the left to see more headlines and such. Swiping up allows you to read the full story and there’s even an embedded web browser to read the fully story if that’s not supported by a certain feed. You don’t need to jump through any hoops with Swipe, as you can search through feeds and add them with just a couple of taps. With a design that will fit in with the new Android L update and easy to use gestures, Swipe is both aptly named as well as a more modern approach to getting news on your smartphone.

How it Works: Getting everything set up with Swipe is thankfully nice and easy, all you need to do is download Swipe from the Play Store and then sign-in with your Google+ account.

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With a quick look at what the app has to offer, Swipe doesn’t mess around in getting you set up.

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I’m obviously going to add Android Headlines to my subscriptions, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to add subscriptions.

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I added a few more to my subscription list though, some of my favorites and I can always view these from my subscription list.

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On your lockscreen, you’ll see a cool-looking display that features a funky design that changes color depending on the news story. Things are laid out nicely here, and you can simply swipe to the left to get a look at more stories, or right to unlock your phone as normal.

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Here’s a story from Android Headlines and I love the animation that happens as you swipe up to read more of it, the shapes sort of close in like a camera shutter, it’s hard to show in a photo but it’s smooth and looks good.

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One you’ve swiped all the way up, you can go ahead and read the article as it’d appear online, all of this right from your lockscreen.

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Opinion: I thought that having news on a lockscreen would be pretty awkward and somewhat clunky however, that’s not the case at all with Swipe. Everything is super smooth and I didn’t notice any sort of effect on the overall performance of my phone with Swipe running in the background, nor was it ever difficult or slow to unlock my phone as usual. Having news on your lockscreen is a great way of keeping up-to-date with what matters to you; great for those quick times waiting for a bus or just wanting to get to the news as quickly as possible. One thing I found really refreshing is the lack of suggestions, this sounds bizarre but it’s my lockscreen and I want to see just the sources that I want to see. Swipe gives you full control of whatever you want to read, which is just as it should be. I enjoyed the slick animations and being able to read my favorite news sources right from my lockscreen is a really nice touch.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – With no affect on your phone’s performance, Swipe runs quickly makes it super-quick to get to your news.
  • Features (5/5) – It’s not what Swipe does, but more the way it does it that makes it so nice to use. You choose what you want to read, you just swipe for more, swipe to read and swipe to unlock. It all runs smoothly and it could quickly become your sole source for news while on the move.
  • Theme (4/5) – Slick and smooth, the animations and overall look and feel of Swipe is really nice. Being able to see the time and date from the lockscreen is a pretty essential touch and one I’m glad to see Swipe haven’t forgotten about.
  • Overall (4.5/5) – An excellent alternative to other dedicated news applications, Swipe not only makes it nice and easy to read your favorite news, but it looks good, too.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to get set up, with complete control over your feeds, without having to deal with any pesky ‘suggestions’.
  • Cool animations make it obvious as to what you’re doing and help jazz up the whole experience.
  • Easy to read the full article without ever leaving your lockscreen.
  • Doesn’t make it any more difficult to unlock your phone and you’ll see the date and time, too.

Cons

  • Manual refresh button from the lockscreen would be nice.
  • While it’s still in beta, being able to add stories to the Read Later section would be invaluable to those always on the go.

Conclusion: As news apps go, I was pleasantly surprised by Swipe, but not for the reasons its creators might have imagined. Sure, being able to read the news from your lockscreen is an excellent concept and it’s no surprise that many people are adopting this as their one-and-only news app. However, for me it’s the simplicity and control of Swipe. There’s no messing around with suggestions based on your choices or anything like that, and you’re simply left to get on with choosing your favorite sources and flicking through them wherever and whenever you want on your lockscreen. I was impressed overall and this is definitely something that’s easily recommended.

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