Yahoo Android app is just OK (Review)

I do like the visual presentation. Yahoo has smartly opted to go with large photos when possible. Most occupy almost the entire screen of my Nexus 4.

In Review

Yahoo!

3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars - 'Worth a Look'
News app for Android (free)
Download: Google Play
StarkIn
+
Emphasis on large photos. Fluid scrolling. Full stories open quickly.
StarkOut
Lack of content source customization. RSS feeds or web sites can't be manually added-what you see is what you get. Yahoo insists on promoting its other apps in lieu of providing deeper functionality.
3
OUT OF 5
VERDICT:
"Worth a Look"
In 2010 the new Yahoo app would be something worth talking about, today it's a step or two behind the likes of Flipboard, News360, Pulse, Taptu and others.
Review by

Yahoo Android App - Review

In an Android world chock full of Flipboard, News360, Pulse,  Taptu and so many other fine news readers is there really room or reason for another?

Yahoo thinks so.

The purple monster has unveiled Yahoo!, a basic news app for Android. I gave it a spin on my Nexus 4 and found it to be serviceable, but for far from revolutionary. Net-net: it’ll have a tough time finding a regular rotation on my home screen. Read on to find out more, or cut to the chase and jump to Google Play and download it onto your Android to see for yourself.

I do like the visual presentation. Yahoo has smartly opted to go with large photos when possible. Most occupy almost the entire screen of my Nexus 4. Some articles (such as an NCIS preview piece) run without photos, and instead include Yahoo created summaries. As expected, tapping on any of them takes you to the full article. Response times are uniformly fast. Good work on that front.

You can browse all sections, or open the menu on the left to choose from a variety of sub-topics including business, celebrities (do they still exist?), media, news, politics, sports, and technology, among others.

Yahoo Android App - Review

Yahoo includes links to some of its other (non-axed) apps. However even if you have any of them installed–Yahoo Finance for example–the app insists on displaying the links, for better or worse. If you’re a fan of Yahoo apps and its ecosystem than this could be a convenient navigation feature. For me, it’s just a minor nuisance (I don’t use Yahoo Messenger, Mail or Sportacular).

Most of the content is, of course, sourced from Yahoo. It did see some stories from others including Marketwatch, Rivals, ABC, Good Morning America. Still, expect a healthy dose of Yahoo. Depending on the topic, that’s not a bad thing. I’ve found Yahoo’s NHL coverage (Puck Daddy) to be among some of the best, most opinionated out there; to see it here in the app is convenient. So far as I can tell there’s no way to choose content providers, and there’s also no option to add RSS feeds or web sites. What Yahoo bakes in is what you get.

Yahoo Android App - Review

The first news source I visit everyday is still Google News. I do wish they’d make a native Android app for it, and not just insist we access it via the Chrome browser – after testing the new Yahoo app it’s clear that native apps are still better in most respects, even if that gap is decreasing with the advent of HTML5/css3, etc.

Overall, the new Yahoo app is a solid if unspectacular news reader. In 2010 this might be top drawer stuff. Today, however, it’s a step or two behind the competition.

Yahoo for Android
News reader
3 out of 5 stars

Explore. Create. Live. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 9,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to 
Stark Insider on YouTube, the largest arts & travel channel in San Francisco.