The Microsoft Garage team are busy bees, releasing one app after another, and some of them are actually interesting ideas (take Mimicker for example). The Microsoft News Pro app for iOS is one of their latest projects and while some say it aims to compete against the Apple News app and other similar apps such as Flipboard, I tend to disagree.
News Pro has a more specific purpose, which is to offer you news relevant to your job, potentially helping you improve your business and/or career. The app lets you login with your LinkedIn or Facebook account (which is not that great if you’re not using either of the two platforms) and then you can select the industries you want to follow. However, the social network you choose to login with, is used by Microsoft News Pro to the activity of that account to determine what you’re interested in.
The Explore tab lets you discover more topic of interest, and they’re nicely sorted by organizations, industries, products and skills. In the Highlights section, the app displays the latest articles it considers to be most important for you, and there’s also a search function so you can manually look up stories.
News Pro offers a feature called ‘Speedy’ similar to Safari’s reading mode and if you’re wondering why you should use it instead (or along with) Apple News or Flipboard, then think about whether you’re interested to digest a large amount of news related to your job. And not just that, as the app promises it can help you find the “articles and topics you didn’t know you needed”. You can think of it as a discovery tool as well.
Microsoft’s plans related to the News Pro app remain unclear. It’s available via iTunes only for US Residents and The Verge says Redmond confirmed the app won’t be coming to Android or Windows Mobile. Of course, it is possible the tech giant is just testing the public reaction right now, and could very well change their minds should the app become popular.
Nevertheless, Microsoft News Pro is also a web service – you can find it at newspro.microsoft.com – , so it is accessible from any Internet-connected device which supports using a web browser. Furthermore, the Microsoft Garage team now has Twitter and Facebook accounts for the News Pro app, which you can follow to get the latest information.
What do you think about Microsoft News Pro? Does the app deliver news you’re actually interested in or your other news apps are able to handle this task better? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section or leave us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.