Fresco News (Free) by Fresco News is a brand new way to get your fill of news that is happening from all over the world. If you enjoy new ways of getting the news, such as through apps like Flipboard and Facebook Paper, then you will appreciate Fresco News.
I am what you would consider a “news junkie” — a person who can’t really function until they’ve read or watched or listened to the major (or minor) news of the day. I live and breath the news, and not just tech, either — I actually like knowing what is going on all over the world. However, because there’s only 24 hours in a day, I can’t possibly read everything there is in a day. Most of the time, I end up skimming headlines, because that gives me the gist of things, right?
But when I was contacted by Fresco News about an app that gives you the news through images, I was intrigued. After using it for a bit, Fresco News is a great way for anyone who wants the news but doesn’t have the time to read — an picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
The interface for Fresco News is quite lovely. The color scheme is dark, which is great because it helps put the emphasis on the images, rather than the app itself. For an app like this, that’s the most important thing, after all. The images also take up the full width of your iPhone screen, while the text has thin margins surrounding it, also adding to the focus on the photographs. Fresco is also quite intuitive, where you can just scroll down to see all of the recent images, tap on one to get the full story, and then pull the image up or down to go back to the thumbnail list. There’s even a vertical carousel that you can access by tapping on the “hamburger” button to get categories of “hot” news topics. While it’s a new approach to getting your news, it’s fairly easy to pick it up and understand how to use it, which is nice.
You currently don’t need to create an account in order to use Fresco News, so that’s a plus. The moment you launch the app, you will be on the “Recent News” feed. As I mentioned, there will be a lot of images that you can scroll through, and the app will continue to load more once you reach the bottom. The images that Fresco News uses actually come from people who are on the scene of major events, so there is no middleman, such as a big news corporation, in order to get the raw news.
I’ve already talked to the developer, and in the upcoming 1.1 update, Fresco News will become crowdsourced, so anyone can upload photos of major event scenes to the app. However, for these photos to actually show up in everyone’s feed, it will need to be approved by the team first. Once an image is approved, that user will get a push notification saying that Fresco News will pay them to use their image and license it, splitting the revenues with the photographer. It’s definitely something to look forward to.
If you’re looking for all photographs that are related to a topic, just tap on the button in the top left corner to access the topic carousel. A tap on the topic you want will bring up all of the images that are related to it that are currently in Fresco News.
Whenever you find a story that interests you, just tap on the photo to bring it up in the detail screen, where you can view the timestamp and caption that explains it, along with the photographer credit. Sometimes, a photo may not be linked to an article on a major news site, but others may be. You can differentiate these photos by looking at the bottom — if there is a story, Fresco News will list the major news sites that talk about it, and there will be links that you can open directly in the in-app browser. You can also share a story to Twitter or Facebook as well.
Since you won’t have the app open all day just to get the news, Fresco also provides push notifications whenever a new story comes up. This is quite handy, and since the app doesn’t seem flooded with news at the moment, I’ll keep it on for the time being (I usually prefer to not have many push notifications).
Currently, since Fresco News just launched, the content is a bit limited. However, the developer has told me that they plan to cover at least 10–15 of the top global news stories each day, so the content will grow over time. And when Fresco News becomes crowdsourced, I’m sure that the content will just begin to spill in.
As someone who doesn’t have enough time to read all the news each day, and understands how powerful a photo can be, I am loving Fresco News. It offers a much more visual way to see the global news, and for some people, this is much better than reading a bunch of text on the subject. I look forward to seeing the addition of crowdsourcing in the next update, and I think paying people for the images used and licensing them is a great business model. Fresco News may seem a bit limited now, but there are plenty of exciting things to come.
I recommend checking out Fresco News if you need a more visual approach to getting your daily news from all over the world. You can get it on the App Store for the iPhone for free.