Editions by AOL
Get a new magazine every day with AOL’s latest app
When it comes to news aggregation apps, what’s most important to you? Is it the range of sources? The quality of the content? The way it’s presented? For Editions by AOL, a balance appears to have been struck between all three.
It has attempted to bring together some of the best visual elements of the great magazine apps, and place them side by side with an interactive content-building experience. The result is often ingenious, and regularly impressive, but oddly not as engaging as you might think. The look and feel of Editions is a good example of where the app both succeeds and falls just short of brilliance.
While its magazine-style layout and daily generation of a new ‘edition’ is excellent, and creates a sense of anticipation each day as to what you might get, the result can feel anti-climatic. While you can select which categories feed into your issue (and you can change these at any time), you can only pull from a set of 19 predetermined subjects. You don’t get to select the sources you draw from either, but that’s not quite so much of an issue thanks to a neat feedback feature.
This is where the interactivity really comes into play, as in theory you should get as much out of Editions as you put in. By giving feedback on each story, you can encourage and discourage certain key words or news sources. So, with each copy of Editions, you should get a stronger sense of a personalised magazine. It works in a similar way to Zite in this respect, but without being able to get in behind the algorithms and content gathering, you are rather at the mercy of AOL to find interesting material.
If the results felt more immediate, or the content across each section more numerous, then that sense of involvement would have been stronger, but as it is, it all feels like it’s slightly removed from you. It’s personalised news, but only up to a point, and that’s a real shame as far as we’re concerned.
Put in the effort, and Editions can become something special, but it takes its sweet time about it.
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