SPUN: City News (Free) by Broadcastr, Inc. is another news app competing for our attention. Circa and Summly are just two examples of apps that are still relatively new in the space, but Spun offers something unique. The personalized news on Spun isn’t only organized by topic, but by location too. Instead of updating you on world news, it keeps you posted on what’s going on in your city.
The app currently covers 11 cities across the United States, and topics covered include culture, dining, lifestyle, events, entertainment, and news. It’s ideal for both tourists, and locals who want to quickly learn more about what’s happening in the area.
The graphics and design of Spun are surprisingly impressive. When a set of new stories are loading, the whole 3-D interface spins, and there’s even a cool animation for scrolling. These effects certainly make Spun stand out, but don’t really add to the functionality.
After you’ve picked your city, you’re presented with the top stories. Swiping left or right takes you to stories about specific topics.
Each news item is displayed with a map, which can be useful, specially when the story is about an event. If you’re interested in a story, you can easily save it for later. If it’s an event you’ll get a reminder when it’s about to start. As we’ve come to expect, sharing options are also included in Spun. You can email stories, or share them through Twitter or Facebook.
The overall experience is pleasant, and it compares well to reading a local newspaper. Although the mobile news space is competitive, I do think there is room for a more localized offering. Knowing what’s going on in the world is all well and good, but it’s just as important to keep up with what’s going on in your own city.
My only issue with Spun is that the animations are a little distracting. Other than that, it does a perfectly good job of presenting local news.
I can’t wait for Spun to start covering stories in London. If you’re based in one of the 11 cities that are already included in Spun, I highly recommend checking it out.
You can get Spun for iPhone free in the App Store.