MKB Reviews: Fox News

Good morning! Today we’ll be taking a look at the new Fox News Channel release to the Android Market, their Fox News Application. There has been plenty of chat about whether or not the Fox News articles really are ‘fair and balanced,’ as the splash screen says, but that’s not the main focus of this review. We’ll be taking a look at the user interface of an application that has come straight from the developers, through the beta stage, and into the marketplace.

First of all the application has a nice clean, professional look to it. It’ll look good on just about any phone, however performance is a completely different issue that will be covered later. Similar to the USA Today App, which hasn’t been reviewed yet by DroidDog, the Fox News App features a tabbed news interface at the top, sorting your news into Articles | Videos | Slideshows | Shows | Favorites. Furthermore, beneath these 5 tabs you can continue to filter news into a ton of categories using a scrolling slider bar. Some of thse sub-categories include ‘Top Stores,’ ‘Entertainment,’ ‘Sci/Tech,’ ‘Sports,’ and more. This is, in my opinion, one of the most efficient and unobtrusive ways to sort through news and read it on a daily basis. You can check out my NewsRob App Review for an example of another news-reading application that actually aggregates news from a variety of sources. (cont.)

There is unfortunately no widget to go with this application, but the app still allows you to stay on top of breaking news by visiting the applications and either turning on or off background notifications. Some news aggregating apps have been notorious for hogging and draining Android phones’ batteries because of their need to constantly check for new stores in the background. The Fox news application hasn’t degraded my battery life at all, but it may help to look into a process manager application to help you kill unnecessary tasks from chomping into your battery life when you’re not using your phone. (cont.)

Like I mentioned earlier, the one issue I’d say is something to work on by the Fox App developing team is performance. Any news app has to pull in a large amount of data and images in the background and it can be difficult to streamline this process. The Fox app runs fairly smoothly on the Motorola Droid and is extremely snappy on the Motorola Droid X I’m testing. I’m unsure, however, how this device would perform on some lower end phones like the Droid Eris or the HTC Desire. Keep that in mind when ‘shopping around’ for a news reader application for your Android device. Be sure to check out the accompanying YouTube video for more information on this.

Speaking of shopping, this application is [thankfully] completely free in the app store, and can be found by either searching ‘Fox News’ in the Android market or by scanning the QR code below this article.

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