For Seniors: Explore Great News and Weather Apps for iPhones

Using your iPhone to keep up-to-date with constantly changing information is an obvious choice. Here are some great news and weather apps to check out for your iPhone:

  • Pulse News: Alphonso Labs' Pulse News, an RSS news reader, presents feeds as graphically rich blocks that look almost like a filmstrip. If the RSS feeds you're following include images with them, those images display by the text, making it a lot easier to get the gist of each article.

    The Smart Dock is a nice feature that recommends sources based on the items that you read. You'll also find a social networking component in Pulse. When you see an article you like, you can tap the Heart icon and add it to your own Pulse.

  • Instapaper: This app manages all the cool things you see but don't ever get around to actually reading. Instapaper allows you to tag articles, websites, Flickr pics, and just about everything else on the web for viewing later. You can even view your tagged content offline, when you're not connected to the web. You can do it from within the Instapaper app, but currently several dozen iOS apps have added support for Instapaper, too. The app will cost you $3.99, but may be worth it.

  • NPR News for iPhone: If you're an NPR (National Public Radio) junkie, you'll be glad to hear that this is one of those best-in-class apps in terms of its user interface. More importantly, it offers you access to just about everything NPR produces, including written stories, radio news stories, and a broad selection of the entertainment and informational radio shows.

  • You can browse NPR's content in several ways. The home screen features three scrollable timelines, one each for News, Arts & Life, and Music. These three streams are all stories and articles produced by the NPR news organization — the different radio programs are offered separately. You can swipe through these three streams from left to right, and when you tap a story that interests you, it takes over the screen, with the category stream at the bottom.

  • Some of these articles are offered in text only, but most of them have an accompanying radio report embedded right there. You can listen to the audio report from the home screen by tapping the Speaker button in the teaser, or by tapping the Listen Now button in the full article.

  • BBC News: The BBC News app for iPhone includes written news reports and BBC radio, too. Some articles even have video additions that include background interviews for added color, broadcast TV reports, and more.

  • This app is highly customizable. The home screen of the app shows several rows of news articles, with each row representing a different category of news. You can swipe up and down to scroll through these categories, or from right to left to scroll through the individual stories in a category.

  • You get one-tap access to the BBC's great radio news coverage. Just tap the Live Radio button at the top of the screen (make sure to wait a moment while the app buffers the stream), and you have whatever is being streamed by BBC Radio delivered straight to your iPhone.

  • The Weather Channel: No default weather app is available on the iPhone, but some great options are available in the App Store. The Weather Channel Max for iPhone is one of the best of the bunch, and it's free

  • When you first launch the app, it asks whether it can use your current location (assuming you have your iPhone set to ask for that permission). If you tap OK, you see a Google Maps display of your local area and six buttons for you to choose different features of the apps: Maps, Local, Video, Severe, Social, and On TV.

  • The Local pane is what most people use the most. In one view, it offers current weather conditions and the forecast for the next ten days. (Swipe sideways to scroll through all ten days.) With a tap, you can also get an hourly forecast through the next 24 hours, along with four-hour forecasts for the 12 hours after that, and then daily forecasts for the next eight days.

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