Posted by: Will | January 15, 2009

How To Read News On The iPod Touch

WSJ on the iPod Touch

WSJ on the iPod Touch

Although I generally have an “anti-routine” philosophy, I have developed one particular habit over the last few months. In the morning, I read my news on the iPod touch in bed. At first this probably sounds funny, but I’ll tell you that I’ve tried many different ways of consuming news in the morning and this is the best.

News Sources

I read a number of newspapers, financial news sources, blogs, and social news sources to get up to speed on my areas of interest: US economy, technology, venture capital, global news and economy. These sources include:


Financial News Sources:


Social News Sources:

How To Read A Lot of Information Quickly on a Small Screen

NewsGator iPod Touch Aggregator

NewsGator iPod touch Aggregator

With all of these sources, this would seem like a daunting task to read everything. And that would be true if these were all print editions. However, on the web (and especially the mobile web), news sources must figure out how to bubble up the most important information to the top, which means a reader is less bombarded with advertising and secondary stories.

A second benefit of the mobile device are the news aggregators. Personally I use NewsGator. When I first setup my news sources in the fall, I tried a number of different news aggregators and found NewsGator to be the best because it had a simple landing screen with all of my blog sources in one spot.

TechCrunch on NewsGator

TechCrunch on NewsGator

I have read recently that Google Reader has been improved. When I tried Google Reader in the fall, I found it frustrating that it only previewed each article and I had to click into a website to read the rest.

NewsGator on the other hand, allows me to read the full article and see images for each story without changing the page. This is a key feature.

Most of the time lost in reading news on the iPhone or iPod touch is spent changing pages and zooming in or out to view articles.

Social News Sources

Most people in my generation probably use Facebook and Twitter too much as sources of news, and most people in my parents generation probably can’t understand how any news gets broadcast on those sites.

The reality is that Twitter and Facebook are great for breaking news, while Digg and Reddit (and others) are great for understanding trends. Traditional media outlets, in comparison, are too slow for breaking news and too filtered for understanding trends.

Over the last several months, nearly every major news event – from earthquakes to the Mumbai attacks to plane crashes – Twitter was first to report what was going on, by people involved.

Similarly, users of Facebook update their status with their one-line thoughts about the election or the conflict in Gaza, usually linking to breaking stories.

Social aggregators, like Digg and Reddit, let users vote up or down the stories they like, so that the common interest is bubbled to the top. On one day common interest may be about voting for Obama, and on another day it may be a Star Wars joke.

This “perspective of the masses” adds the most flavor to my news consumption.

Setting Up The Home Screen

iPod touch Home Screen

iPod touch Home Screen

Finally, I setup the home screen on the iPod touch to give me all of these sources at my fingertips. I created shortcut buttons for websites and NewsGator, and I moved the applications I use most often to the first page.

If you have any suggestions on what else I could do, I’d love to hear them in your comments!



  1. citizen aspec

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