April 18, 2013 6:11pm
The news aggregator space is full of apps claiming to give you a leanback, comfortable, personalized and altogether delightful reading experience. From Pocket to Flipboard to Feedly, there are myriad ways to consume content, either by searching it out specifically or letting it come to you.
Vu is a new iPhone app by Vu Digital, a Mississippi-based startup, with the second goal in mind. The app presents a series of recommend reading, streamed in three ways: My Topics, Trending on Vu, and Recommended Reading. The more content you consume, and the more often you use the word-based rating system — Cool, Whoa, Nice, LOL, Sweet, Yikes — the better it gets at understanding what you’re looking for, and the more accurate that Recommended list gets.
The app dives into a number of topics, including food, technology, health, business and general news. Major outlets like Wired, NBC News and Food Network are aggregated into easy-to-navigate lists, filled with high-resolution photos. The articles themselves are formatted nicely, with options to change font, font size and style. There’s even a night mode for evening perusal.
Vu uses your Twitter and Facebook accounts as potential sharing avenues, and once you select one of the six ratings, you’re encouraged to tweet or update your status accordingly. This taps into the viral nature of much of what you’re reading and lends the app a Buzzfeed-y feel, which drives more users back to the app.
Once you star an article, by swiping from left to right on its header, a Favorites category is added to your home screen. The app is full of delightfully subtle animations, dressed in a clean, intuitive interface. It may not take people away from Flipboard or Feedly, but it’s not meant to: the app is more about discovering new content than rehashing the old.
Vu also collaborated with Toronto-based BNOTIONS on the development of the app. We’ve covered another of their other apps before, Say What?, an addictive word game that just came to Android this week.
Download Vu for iPhone.