Bloomberg brings the business world to your fingertips
If you’re spending sleepless nights fretting over the continuing global economic meltdown, and feel the need to mainline financial and business news in order to keep up with the latest twists and turns, then Bloomberg might have the solution.
The global news network has released an app that stands shoulder to shoulder with the best live TV and video players on the market. It’s not the company’s first foray into the app market, but it’s certainly its most ambitious. Businessweek+, the digital version of the organisation’s flagship magazine, and the analytical Bloomberg are both decent efforts. But Bloomberg TV+ is a leap forward, offering users a well-structured app that takes them into the thick of televised commerce news.
Right from the homepage, you can dive into a live TV feed where every market flinch and flutter is reported on. There’s the option to go full screen, but it’s when you keep the feed minimised on the page that you really get the most out of the app’s functionality. A side panel sits next to the feed (or below, depending on whether you’re holding your iPad in landscape or portrait position), offering a wealth of information to complement what you’re watching.
This includes who’s on any particular show, companies and people mentioned, and topics covered. Click on a name (at the time of writing Silvio Berlusconi was mentioned frequently), and you’ll uncover a drop-down box telling you who they are, and giving you links to all the latest news stories featuring them. Click on a company name, and you get the same relevant news info, as well as an up-to-date summary of their stock value and an earnings breakdown.
But it doesn’t end there. A selection of featured videos, offering highlights of the biggest news events of the day, can also be accessed below the live feed, along with a scrolling ticker displaying a constantly updated feed of news, stock information, global indices – all of which can be tailored to suit your needs via the Ticker Settings icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Some might think that sufficiently covers Bloomberg’s remit, but the company has gone further. You can access a range of Bloomberg’s top shows in the ‘On Demand’ section, and build a playlist, storing the shows you want to watch in one handy area. We particularly enjoyed racking up episodes of TechStars – where start-ups are teamed up with venture capitalists – which features a host of characters who shout, are mean to each other, and evoke unnecessary suffering in order to boost viewing figures – basically everything you want from a reality TV show.
If you feel like you might become engrossed, but don’t want to miss a show that’s coming up on the live feed, then head to the schedule on the homepage and set an alert, which will give you a 30-second warning before your programme’s due to start.
The loading time for the videos on Bloomberg TV+ is minimal, the buffering non-existent, and the obligatory adverts not as intrusive as they are on some media players. Sharing options for Facebook and Twitter are easy to use, underlining the simplicity of the app’s navigational ability. One problem is having to go back to the homepage to access TV listings, meaning you have to stop whatever you’re watching to find out what’s on later.
The nature of the reporting is very much from a business point of view (hearing the presenters gleefully saying things like “The one per cent are fighting back” should tell you who they were rooting for during the Occupy Wall Street protests). But this is still an essential app for the job-making community and anyone with an interest in global business and financial news
Bloomberg has created an app with wider appeal than just the business crowd.
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