These are the best apps for international news that are free and easy to use. You can browse alerts from the BBC, read or watch reports from NPR, view gripping photos and videos from Reuters, along with those of many other news providers. Also check out the Facebook Page.
Table of Contents
Best Apps For International News
- BBC News App
The BBC is a worldwide news organization that keeps readers updated with the latest news stories and videos on-demand. It is considered the best world news app for iOS and Android, offering innovative ways to keep users engaged.
What made BBC’s news app successful?
“My News” option is a great example of personalization, allowing users to navigate wherever they choose and visit the sections they like best: Top headlines, Economy, Breaking News, etc.
Live-streaming news channels within the app, recreating the TV news experience on a mobile device.
Breaking news through notifications to keep users informed on what matters.
Download: Android, iOS
Flipboard is quite possibly the world’s most trendy and engaging news app. Many other apps like Flipboard exist, but this news aggregator app stands out for a number of reasons.
It has brilliant visuals and beautiful designs that present news stories in a creative way. The interface shows various types of content, including articles, slideshows, and videos, and it connects with social media sites like Twitter and Instagram.
What made Flipboard successful?
Stunning design that users love
“For You” tab to personalize the experience
Live news app that features real-time streaming of events as they unfold
Download: Android, iOS
- Google News
Google News puts its advertising algorithm to use by filling each users’ feed with news that interests them. And they’re pretty good at it, as you can imagine! This news streaming app can also show you local news, essentially serving as a local news app if that’s what you’re looking for.
What made Google News successful?
The “Full Coverage” button under each headline lets users explore different news outlets’ takes on a given topic—something discerning readers value in an era of intense partisanship and concern about biased reporting
Ability to subscribe to specific news sources and read them directly from the app
Option to purchase premium subscriptions to news outlets
Download: Android, iOS
- The New York Times
the new york times
The New York Times is America’s paper of record, featuring “All the news that’s fit to print” for over a century. Known around the world for its award-winning reporting, the New York Times offers a newspaper app that all its digital subscribers can access.
What made the New York Times app successful?
Off-line reading for subscribers who might lose internet access on the New York subway (or any metro around the world)
Breaking news alerts + notifications on topics of interest
A clean user interface that readers of all ages can wrap their heads around
Download: Android, iOS
- CNN News
CNN pioneered the 24-hour cable news phenomenon—for better or worse!
CNN’s official mobile app receives 40% of its total internet traffic, and users find it engaging and easy to navigate. CNN offers a wide assortment of articles, and even though the main site is primarily written for a U.S. audience, the app will tailor news to your region based on your IP address.
What made CNN’s news app successful?
CNN-exclusive content that you can’t see anywhere else
Video news channel that offers seamless live streaming
Additional video-based content (including popular shows) that video news junkies love
Download: Android, iOS
Digg features content from news websites around the world, much like Google News, Flipboard, and the other news aggregator apps on this list.
Through the power of computer algorithms and some great old-fashioned human curation, Digg has created a loyal following that helps users figure out “what the internet is talking about right now.” That’s their tagline.
What made the Digg news app successful?
Digg offers helpful summaries of news stories, helping busy professionals stay informed
Careful curation by Digg’s editors help users “dig” deeper than the headlines to find informative pieces worth studying
Seamless saving and sharing features
Wide-ranging options to customize the User Experience (UX)
Download: Android, iOS
- AP Mobile
The Association Press launched its Mobile news app all the way back in 2008. One of the most trusted sources in the world for unbiased journalism, it’s an invaluable resource for those who want a straightforward User Experience (UX) and factual reporting.
What made the AP Mobile news app successful?
Regular, efficient updates so users can stay informed on the latest events
Breaking news displayed in a stripped-down style
The app is quick and responsive, thanks to its simple format
Download: Android, iOS
In a world of contentious debates, the Reuters news app is respected by many across the political spectrum. Reuters is known for fact-checking and objective reporting, featuring news from around the world.
What made Reuters successful?
Content from more than 2,000 journalists in 180 countries across the globe
Straightforward personalization allows users to see more of the stories they want to see
Editorial highlights let users sample opinion pieces from different sides of a given debate
Download: Android, iOS
Feedly is one of the best news apps that use RSS feeds. The app pulls all the important news from a range of various sources, giving users the option to view stories from the outlets they trust the most. Feedly was one of the earliest apps to use RSS feeds, and they gained a loyal following that made them an established player in the news and information sector.
What made Feedly successful?
Easy integration with Facebook, IFTTT, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Evernote, OneNote, and others
Straightforward UX that makes customization a breeze
Machine learning that helps deliver personalized content that users love
Download: Android, iOS
The Pulse news app is similar to Flipboard, amassing content from a wide assortment of news outlets that users can curate. Owned by LinkedIn, the app can also stream content from LinkedIn influencers if that’s your jam.
What made the Pulse app successful?
Easy options for including or excluding various news sources
Highly-functional interface that lets users scan content in a grid-format and tap the articles they want to read
Best free news apps 2022
What makes a great news app?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
For this roundup, I was looking primarily at news aggregator apps. Read-it-later apps and RSS readers can aggregate news for you, but they’re more hands-on, and really a different category of app. I also left out any apps that are owned by companies that do their own journalism—like CNN, Fox News, and Reuters. And while I might get some flak for it, Reddit and other social media apps also weren’t up for consideration.
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I know most folks don’t look at their news on a desktop, so I also focused on mobile apps. I tested each app on an iPhone 12 running on iOS 15.2.1.
Most of the apps on this list pull from the same news sources, but you’ll notice that certain apps, like NewsBreak and Google News, prioritize free stories over subscription-only sources. As a result, those news apps tend to pull articles from lesser-known publications, providing a wider selection of news than apps like Apple News, for example, which mainly promotes news from more prominent sources. I kept that all in mind as I was reviewing the apps.
As I tested, here’s what I was keeping my eye out for.
Personal feed. The news needed to be presented well and organized intuitively on a custom feed.
Content interaction. I wanted to see what options were available for engaging with the content (e.g., a comment section or share options).
Categories. Each app organizes its content differently, but I wanted to see some sort of category-based organization, whether that was tabs, side panels, grouped content, or anything else.
Search and filter. Sometimes you’re looking for a specific news topic, so I made sure search and filter capabilities allowed you to do that.
Customization. Everyone reads the news differently, so there needed to be features available for personalization, including the ability to follow certain topics, save searches, or create folders.
Best news app for affordable access to top news sources
Apple News (iOS, macOS)
Apple News, our pick for the best news app for affordable access to top news sources
Apple News may not be the most beloved app on this list, but it gets half a point for its convenience to Apple product users—the app comes already installed on devices, and you can enable Siri to suggest stories based on the apps you’ve been using and the sites you’ve been browsing in Safari.
I’d say Apple News is best enjoyed with the premium $9.99/month plan because a lot of articles on the app aren’t available to non-subscribers. Apple doesn’t hold back from pushing the free trial and its premium plan onto users—which makes lots of folks grumble—but I think the price is justified. While you can read articles from subscription-only sources on other apps on this list, you’ll eventually run into the issue of needing to subscribe to those publications after a certain number of articles—or worse, you’ll be hit with the prompt to pay on your first try. With Apple News+, however, you not only gain paywall-free access to many of the most well-known, subscription-only journalistic sources, like The Wall Street Journal and TIME, but you can also listen to Apple’s audio stories.
These audio stories are narrated by voice actors. The feature isn’t available for all stories since Apple creates the narration, but it’s a really nice feature: the actual human voices of the actors make the news stories more much engaging.
You can curate your content by upvoting or downvoting, and the search and filter options are equally comprehensive, with the results broken up by top results, articles, topics, and sources. When I searched politics, for example, I was able to see the most popular articles under Stories; and under Topics, I was recommended subcategories like World Politics and UK Politics.
If you like Apple News but don’t like Apple, I’d recommend giving inkl a try as an Apple News alternative. Inkl doesn’t allow free access to the app, but for $15/month, you’ll find an even wider array of sources, like The New York Times or Bloomberg (which currently requires a separate $34.99/month subscription on Apple News).
Apple News price: Free; Apple News+ plan is $9.99/month
Best free news app for access to a wide range of articles
Google News (iOS, Android, Web)
Google News, our pick for the best free news app for a wide range of articles
We all know that Google does aesthetics well—and the modern look of the Google News app definitely helps create a more enjoyable news-reading experience. It’s been recently revamped, too, so you know they’re working to keep it fresh.
I particularly liked the Full Coverage panels, available on bigger stories: they give you a range of sources on a breaking story, plus relevant tweets and videos, and even a timeline showing you how events have unfolded. When reading an article, you can just click the full coverage icon to access more on that topic. This made it easy and quick to spot similar stories without having to go out of my way to manually search for them. It also helps ensure that you’re getting a variety of perspectives on a particular topic instead of just taking one perspective as gospel.
You can follow the topics and news sources you’re most interested in, give individual stories a thumbs up or thumbs down, and save the searches and stories you’re most interested in. I also appreciated the extensive search options, which include subcategories, recommended sources, and relevant articles—all of which means you’ll get more relevant news the next time around.
Since the app does feature stories from sources that have paywalls, you’ll run into some articles that require a subscription. But unlike Apple News, which boosts the paid-only articles to entice users to pay for their premium service, Google News does a good job of primarily promoting the free content on the personal news feed, including free articles from subscription-based sources. For example, I had articles from The Wall Street Journal pop up on my feed that I was able to read for free; only when I searched for WSJ-specific stories did I run into the paywall obstacle.
Google News price: Free
Best news app for personal curation
Flipboard (iOS, Android, Web)
Flipboard, our pick for the best news app for personal curation
Flipboard is based around the idea of creating a digital magazine curated by you—a compendium of stories, pulled from your choice of news sources, blogs, and any other site you can plug into Flipboard (which is pretty much all of them). It borders on RSS reader, but it’s definitely more of a news app, so it made the cut.
You can be as broad or specific as you like with Flipboard: point it toward a general topic like technology or productivity, or specify one site in particular that you want to keep up with, and Flipboard mixes everything together seamlessly.
Flipboard beats out other news-gathering apps when it comes to its interface: the flow feels natural, whether you want to check out the top stories of the day or dig deeper into something that hasn’t been as widely covered. Where relevant, podcasts, tweets, and videos can be embedded alongside news stories.
It’s not just for you either—you can collect articles in a Flipboard magazine to share with family or with a team at work, helping other people focus on what’s important in certain sectors and cutting out the extraneous noise.
Since Flipboard doesn’t have the all-inclusive subscribe-for-access-to-multiple-publications plan, I noticed I didn’t see stories from places like WSJ or other paywalled publications quite as much. Instead, Flipboard will more often recommend stories from smaller, free publications.
Flipboard price: Free; you may have to pay to view certain stories, depending on the source.
Best news app for identifying political bias
Ground News (iOS, Android, Web)
Ground News, our pick for the best news app for understanding political bias
The look of Ground News is a bit drab, but the app certainly makes up for it in other ways.
At the top of each article is a paragraph-long summary called Ground Summary. It gives you a slightly-more-than-headline level of information before deciding if you want to invest time into reading a story (which you can do by clicking on a source under Full Coverage).
Ground News prides itself on presenting a wide range of perspectives, and I saw this come through with its Across the Spectrum and Factuality features. When I scrolled past the Full Coverage section of an article, I was greeted by three bars of varying length and color: a blue one to represent politically left-aligned sources, red for politically right-aligned sources, and white for sources that fall somewhere in the center. When you click on one of those bars, the app automatically reveals similar articles from sources that are aligned with that sentiment.
Ground News also has what they call Bias Distribution for political stories, which indicates how biased a story or topic is toward a particular side of the political spectrum. If a story appears to be too weighted in favor of one side, Ground News will offer a warning that the story may be a “blindspot.” To access a full report, which reveals more sources and their political biases, you’ll need to pay for the premium plan. With the premium plan, you also get custom articles recommended to you based on your reading habits, among other things.
If having a better understanding of the inclinations and motives of your news sources is important to you, I’d say that Ground News is worth the cost.
Ground News price: Free; premium plan starts at $3.99/month
Best news app for a well-rounded news app with no paywalls
NewsBreak (iOS, Android, Web)
NewsBreak, our pick for the best news app for a well-rounded news app with no paywalls
What stood out to me upon first glance with NewsBreak is the tab dedicated entirely to local news (including a neat weather report). But the other tabs at the top of the screen host a wealth of topics for you to explore from news sources all over.
As I scrolled through the feeds, it felt easy. Instead of being bombarded with lines and lines of text, NewsBreak splits each article into its own card with a large image and title.
NewsBreak offers a thumbs-up feature and comment section on each article. As you might guess, people can get quite, um, opinionated in the comments of certain articles. But it’s mostly civil, so if you enjoy engaging in passionate conversation about news, you’ll likely enjoy this feature.
You get the typical customization options, like the ability to follow topics, but you can also block specific topics you’re not interested in. And I mean really specific. For example, on an article with a recipe for Grandma’s Creamy Custard Pie, I was able to choose to see fewer articles containing recipes, custard, or grandmas. I have no qualms with any of those lovely things, but it’s nice to have the option to filter out any unwanted topics.
NewsBreak price: Free
Best news app for video news
Yahoo News (iOS, Android, Web)
Yahoo News, our pick for the best news app for video news
Yahoo News is pretty: the splashes of yellow and purple add a little more personality to the platform that I really liked. But it’s not just about the looks.
Most apps will throw articles from various topics all together in one place, but Yahoo News organizes your feed so that you see similar articles together before scrolling to the next topic. This made the whole reading experience less stressful.
What sets Yahoo apart most is the ability to view your news via video: there’s an entire tab for video news. Better yet, if you’re like me and have the attention span of a goldfish, you’ll be grateful for the ability to scroll while the video you’re currently semi-viewing continues to play. It’s glorious.
The app does allow ads to peek through every now and then as you move through your feed and articles, but since all the features on the app are completely free to use, I’d say this isn’t much of a bother.
Yahoo News price: Free
Best simple news app
News360 (iOS, Android, Web)
News360, our pick for the best simple news app
News360 has been around for over a decade and does a fantastic job of pulling together news from multiple sources, based on your interests and preferences.
You’ll find News360 simple to connect to and simple to operate, with like and dislike features and an option to listen to your news, similar to the audio stories in Apple News. The audio news in News360 is also a premium feature, but unlike Apple News, audio is available for all stories on the app, making it a win for accessibility. Having said that, the robotic, auto-narration may take some getting used to.
Other bonuses are the choice to view articles in either News360’s reader or on the original source. I personally found the reader had a sleeker design and didn’t take as much time to load as the original source websites, but it can sometimes feel more authentic to read the article on the source site.
News360 price: Free; News360 Premium plan starts at $1.99/month (doesn’t include access to paid articles)
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