You can create a music playlist in iTunes, so why not a playlist for news? A new iPad app lets you do just that — but more Canadian content would be better!
In case you haven’t seen this app featured on the iTunes App Store, Ongo for iPad lets you create a custom digital newspaper, allowing you to select what you’d like to read from a handful of publications and organizations — ranging from USA Today and the Los Angeles Times to Reuters and the Associated Press. There are more than 45 outlets to personalize your read.
Once you sign up for a free pass with an email address, you can begin customizing the news by selecting the area you’re interested in (such as the U.S. or World), type of content (Business, Science & Technology, Sports, Arts & Entertainment, Life and Opinion) or by preferred publication. You can type in keywords into the My Topics search window to further tweak the type of content you want to read.
There’s no Canada section — or yet, anyway.
Articles can be “clipped” (saved), shared (via email) and downloaded to read offline, if desired. Font size can be adjusted to your liking, and photos, when double-tapped, expand to full screen. The interface is clean and efficient –utilizing finger swipes and taps — but it’s not as impressive as the layout in Flipboard, another popular news app.
A bigger issue for many, perhaps, is Ongo isn’t exactly a free app. You can use a Day Pass to view content freely for one day or sign up for an Ongo subscription package that starts at $6.99 per month — with custom content viewable on the app or the Web.
Additional publications start at 99 cents per month (for the Detroit Free Press and Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for example) to $9.99 (for the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The (Baltimore) Sun or The Guardian full edition) and up to $14.99 for The Boston Globe.
Ongo has a lot going for it as it cleverly aggregates many hundreds of articles per day across many prominent publications and lets you create a news playlist based on your individual tastes. The interface is simple and effective, photos are high-quality and you can save articles to read offline. But the subscription-based model — be it basic or premium services — might turn off some iPad owners.