BBC News Android app may disappoint hardcore fans

by Caitlin M. Foyt

BBC News is a nice addition to your news app collection, but this one probably won't become your most frequently used or favorite mobile news source.

The app has an appealing, image-heavy layout. The mechanics of the app's home page are quite fancy, allowing you to browse categories by scrolling vertically, or you can search beneath a specific category by flicking your finger left or right. Each thumbnail tells a story of its own (what each story is about), too, with a high-res photo and headline.

BBC News also has the option for you to create your own news feed of topics that most interest you, and even links you directly to the live BBC News 24 channel.

The app also seems to have its fair share of issues. For instance, it has a lot of videos. What's great is that these videos are tied to individual articles, and you aren't booted to a third-party app when you want to watch them. Unfortunately, it's a 50/50 shot that each video will load and play properly. When these videos do work, they load quickly and run smoothly, but this does you little good if the service is notoriously unreliable.

Another bummer about BBC News is that it's very limited. It seems users are only given access to the top stories in each category, rather than everything that's offered on the BBC News website. If you're a devout follower of BBC News, this probably will come as a huge disappointment. But, if you get your news from a number of different sources, this one will be a nice supplemental app — a good way to stay up-to-date on headlines and something to read when you're in a waiting room or standing in line.

It's far from perfect, but with a few updates, BBC News could become a world class app.