Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Update: Circa News works outs some of its app problems, new iPhone news app now functioning for most users

The much hyped new news app, Circa News, appears to be functioning now, so those interesting in taking a look may want to do so before the app begins crashing again.

Both the WSJ and TechCrunch hyped the app yesterday before its launch, a sign that the well funded start-up is pretty damn good at selling itself. Unfortunately, the app was a crashing mess when launched, but that may had less to do with the app and more to do with the back end servers.
Because today the app is now functioning as it was envisioned without the need for an app update.

The basic idea of Circa News is a bit like that used during USA Today's launch many moons ago – reducing down the news into bite sized chunks. Except now the chunks are smaller, of course.

I'm not a big believer in the concept. In fact, I'd go so far as to say my hype senses have been triggered by this one.

But I will say that I really like the look and feel of this app. The design and navigation is very nice indeed.

So far the app has gotten mostly negative reviews, but that is to be expected for an app that crashes frequently. But the most recent reviews are much better, though I think the more thoughtful reviews have legitimate criticism of the concept.

"Circa is a very good and well-made app," writes one iTunes reviewer. "But I do have one complaint. When you're reading each new story entry, they go in reverse chronological order. That means you're reading the latest developments before you see the beginning."

Yep, that whole idea of a lede may still have merits.