Here's a category of apps that's good for work and play, a little like our best tablet games and 15 productivity apps lists, all meshed in one. With a solid news-gathering app, you can curate a feed of headlines and stories that give you the industry information needed to succeed at your 9-to-5. Then after work, you can relax with all the snarky blog posts that make you giggle at night. Selections like Yahoo! LiveStand and Flipboard pull in content from dozens of websites, while Reeder and Google Currents can pull your favorite site feeds out of Google Reader. And if all you need is a quick glance at the weather, we've added AccuWeather kicks off this list of informative apps.
AccuWeather supplies enough data to satisfy even the most obsessive of weather buffs. On the main screen, you get a picture of how the outside world appears, overlaid with the current temperature, “RealFeel,” humidity and wind. The Android version even has a handy multicity widget for your tablet home screen. Digging down, you can view hourly weather conditions, read the 15-day forecast, watch national and regional video forecasts and review animated maps. The excellent Lifestyle section alerts you to how good or bad the outlook is for asthma sufferers.
Platform: Android, iPad, Kindle Fire
Flipboard gathers content from your favorite websites, social networks and feeds, and re-arranges them in an attractive, magazinelike layout, which you can nimbly flip through on your iPad. The app’s pleasingly simple interface has always been a no-brainer: Add content by tapping on the Bookmark icon in the upper right corner, then dive into the material arranged by such topics as Business, Tech & Science, Sports and more. The latest version of the app adds Cover Stories—a hodgepodge of content that intelligently adjusts according to your tastes (iPhone-only for now).
Google Currents (Free)
Google Currents launched last December to much acclaim. The impressive array of features includes a vast catalog of participating content providers and the ability to link to and pull feeds from your Google Reader account. The app’s slick interface is divided into two segments: a Featured Story section where individual articles continually slide in and out, and an area where icons for sources are laid out grid-style. Stories can be stored for offline reading, but it’s Trending Topics that sets Currents apart. Here you’ll find multiple sources for a specific topic, so you can get different perspectives on a single story.
Platform: Android, iPad
Pulse presents a tidy solution for folks who want to stay up to date on news from multiple sources. The app slurps up feeds and reorganizes them into rows of neat boxes with images. Users can curate news by prepackaged topic (Art and Design, Science, Sports, etc.), or search participating publications. Plus, Pulse’s new Smart Dock recommends additional sources. Options to share on social networks, integrate with Google Reader and beam longer pieces to Instapaper, Read it Later or Evernote make the app a vital addition to your tablet.
Platform: Android, iPad, Kindle Fire
You have a fully loaded Google Reader account and an iPad. Want to import every source with one click? Reeder is the app for you. It’s the best Google Reader client for iOS, and the most efficient way to stay abreast of the news across dozens of your favorite sites on the Web using your tablet. Just connect your Google Reader account to the app. Reeder renders each folder within your account as a stack, and you simply pinch outward to see the subscriptions filed inside. You can browse by feed or folder, star items, tack notes to feeds and share stories on your social networks (or caching them on Instapaper, Read It Later or Readability for offline viewing). Ultimately, Reeder’s spare but beautiful design wins out.
Yahoo Livestand (Free)
Consume feature content from more than 100 different publishers on Yahoo’s digital magazine rack called Livestand. Readers curate news from a collection of sources on select broader topics such as Arts & Culture, Science and more. The app only includes Yahoo content partners (such as LAPTOP), but the selection is comprehensive enough to appease most news junkies. Create an account (the app supports up to four simultaneously), go to Explore All Content and add titles. Publications get fed into My Library and then spit out into a magazinelike design. It’s clear that the media giant took great care in constructing the look and feel.