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2009/12/17 - USA Today on Android

posted Dec 16, 2009, 11:01 PM by Rick Anderson
I was originally hooked on USA Today while travelling around the country implementing enterprise systems - every hotel issued a free copy for you in the morning.  Now I can get that USA Today goodness electronically in the palm of my hand!  Initially I didn't expect this to make my gotta have it list - it's just an electronic newspaper after all - but after using it for about a month, I've become extremely impressed and hooked with the Android version of this newspaper.  The overall design and user interface of the application is brilliant and it has the things that make USA Today unique - such as their snapshots and their day in pictures. I also appreciate their sports scores tab as the quickest way to see what's going on in sports.

A quick tour of the application...

Headline news - the category scrolls horizontally back and forth and includes Top News, News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech (displayed), and Travel - just like sections of the newspaper.  Within each category is a subsection - select the provided button and a list appears - for example, in Tech there is Top Stories, Products, Gaming, and Science.  The news stories appear with their headline, a blurp, and an enticing image to draw you into the story.

Scores - simply find your sport within the header and all the teams and scores for today appear.  The selection is a bit restrictive - NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAAF, and NCAAB as is the date (today).  But it's up to the minute and if you need an update, just select the update button on the bottom right of the screen.

Weather - a well done colorful display of the local weather - my favorite feature is sunrise and sunset - something that the Weather Channel app forgot!  Additionally, there's a bar for current location (according to your device location) and a national weather map initially showing doppler radar.  By swiping your finger across the map (right to left) you'll receive the ir satellite map (showing cold/heat patterns), precipitation forecast map, current temperatures (f/c set in the menu options), and current surface showing highs, lows, fronts, and precipitation.

Pictures - a conceptual staple of what USA Today is all about - you get the day in pictures, day in sports, day in celebrities, week in science, week in travel, and week in weather.  Select a picture clip and receive the full image - select the menu function for the caption.

Snapshots - another staple of USA Today goodness - those silly facts that they put together in fun filled diagrams.  News, sports, money, and life.  Simply swipe from right to left to get more snapshots in the selected category.

Note also that the weather is always displayed in the header for all tabs - a nice touch.

More pictures in the Android Mobile library.