SmartNews: News That Matters

4.6 (827.6K)
139 MB
Age rating
Current version
SmartNews, Inc.
Last update
2 weeks ago
Version OS
15.0 or later
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User Reviews for SmartNews: News That Matters

4.64 out of 5
827.6K Ratings
2 years ago, Zan Wilson
Fantastic Function and Fav App but iPhone Capacity Issues
I love the news I get; frequently from cities I didn’t even realize it was tracking for me! Far superior to anything else I’ve ever seen I might be getting addicted this; I spend more time than I think I ‘should’ reading really interesting stuff that’s relevant to me. It’s not a five because it seems to ‘consume’ my iPhone 7 (with max memory)! Here’s what I mean: 1) Frequent pauses/freezes that can last quite a while. Some correct themselves with time, others don’t seem to. 2) Frequently I can’t open iPhone Notes to store an article. It just freezes! This is almost to the point rarely try anymore. But my memory is so bad what’s the point of reading all of this if a can’t save a link to it for later? 3) I was informed by the iPhone that my battery is going bad. However, this App seems to consume tons of power. If I stop using it for a day my ‘power issues’ seem to disappear. If I need a newer/faster iPhone for this app just let me know. If that’s not the issue, any suggestions? Alex PS - I’d like to store direct links to some of the news - is there an easy way to do this? Another suggestion: when I’m done reading an article option to remove from list or retain for a while (I may wish to forward to a friend ...... when it’s daylight again - ha, perhaps I am addicted!
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8 months ago, Hhxfjmcdh
Used to be a five star
I’ve checked out many news packages but always preferred this one. Relevant news, good layout, easy to personalize, MODERATE ADVERTISING. There in lies our problem. More and more advertising. Now I understand why they need advertisers, everyone deserves a payday for their work. But while other apps are definitely worse, (every other story is an advertisement), plus they want to make you pay and subscribe to every news outlet, magazine or newspaper, et cetera. Now SmartNews is still better, but they keep coming up with sneaky ways to try and push you into clicking on their advertisers. What really annoys me is when you click out of a story back to the headlines….but it doesn’t take you there. An ad pops up and your forced to respond…. after several seconds so they can force feed you part of the ad, then you have to click a close button, or an X, or something else (“So you don’t want to save $$$?”), always different and in different places on the page so you are forced to read some of it because if you click the wrong spot it throws you out of everything to start over. And it’s becoming more frequent. The almighty dollar chase has ruined more than a few good companies. Update: I’d like to add that this site just keeps getting worse. I’m looking for another news site. Now they have you tapping tapping tapping on adds waiting for an X to pop up so you can close it out. I don’t need the frustration. I’ll find another app. There are plenty of them.
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2 years ago, NubianP6
Stop the Popups!
UPDATE: (I am late posting this, but) within hours of me writing about my issue with pop-ups, the developers actually responded, and within a day or two, the problem was 100% rectified! I love developers who actually take the time to read and respond to the concerns of their customers, so because of that, SmartNews will forever have a supporter in me! I have been using Smart news several times a day, every day for years now, and I have enjoyed it for the most-part. However, as of January 1, 2021, I am now being greeted by a pop-up urging me to enable location services, which I have no desire to do. It is understandable that the app would request permission for such a feature, but it is requesting permission after EVERY•SINGLE•STORY read! It is beyond annoying and feels like harassment! If this problem isn’t rectified within a week, I will be uninstalling this app. Your readers should be given a choice of which features to enable, and not be harassed when they don’t choose in accordance with YOUR preferences. Update: I am updating my review to reflect a 4-star rating, because I am no longer being bombarded with popups. For everyone who’s whining about the app being too “left-leaning”, perhaps you should search for a Breitbart app, or some other tabloidesque news affiliate...and this is coming from an Independent.
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1 year ago, MissScarlett7
Honest question about advertisements.
Could we please be allowed an option for a one-time fee for an advertisement removal, like some other apps offer? I have used this app in-great length for a few years now. I’ve noticed one of the ad’s changed. Instead of clicking the little ‘x’ once - you click it twice, and it changes locations. Touch sensitivity increased, as well, and Safari kept opening. I began to force close the app. I’m tired of sifting through insufferable advertisements - I would rather pay for a permanent removal to further enjoy the app because, at this moment, I’m unable to do so. Please keep it in consideration. My rating would be five stars if it weren’t for the insufferable advertisements, and I cannot remove them permanently. Great app overall. My personalized digest is terrific! Update: These advertisements have gotten out of hand. Sometimes I have to force quit the app. Also, now I can’t share links without them having the app… a FREE app? You simply compile them all in one location, why do you think you have the right to make people download the app to read articles that you didn’t even produce? Doesn’t make sense in the slightest. I share my news all the time, and now I have to go through extra steps.
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2 years ago, Jdjdkdksba
Helps me stay in formed
Love smart news and have recommended it to many of my friends. I would like to see a few very minor changes though. 1. Something to show “not interested” in a certain article/topic. For instance, I may read two articles on the same topic, be done with it, and then the app assumes anything related to that person or topic I want to know about and I relentlessly get articles about that (ex. Aaron Carter’s passing - I now get every article written about the tragic event, “his managers last text with him”, “his fiancé spotted at…”, “what happens to Aaron’s fortune now?” etc - all of which I, respectfully, don’t want to receive anymore or read about just because I read the article about his passing. 2. Because the algorithm does push so much that it thinks I will like, I tend to miss actual breaking news stories. Would be cool to differentiate breaking news notifications even more, maybe with a different color logo or something (not sound). All in all, I love this app and have used it for years. It has so many great features like the smart view and features that have evolved like being able to see the articles you were notified about all in one place. It’s very helpful for staying aware of things in a timely manner.
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6 years ago, ediemillerangelo
Smart News is really smart
I was apparently one of the first regular user of the app and shared articles on Twitter constantly. 3 or 4 of the developers asked me for an interview via Skype and what Interested ME, was that they were all very young and what interested THEM was WHY I was so interested in the news. An earlier reviewer cited being fed too much liberal news and she should be happy with the addition of NEWSMAX which is definitely right leaning. Early on the developers said the algorithms choose the articles in your feed by the articles you actually read and your interest profile is just algorithms doing what they do but you have the option to choose a tab and read any article from any of the magazine you have added. I asked them to please keep it that was and not to start choosing ( as Facebook does ) articles to put forth an agenda, especially not a political agenda. So far I don’t see it happening. I have pretty eclectic interests and really enjoy the variety I have to choose from. This app also gives you the ability to swipe over to Reader View and read the articles without the annoying advertisements. All in all I hardly use any of my other news apps. I am afraid to count how many tabs I have on my home page! Love it!!
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5 years ago, JDII.
I have been (inundated)as of late, been looking for another platform to get my daily news needs met as I am informe and very interested in social issues in my neighborhood and my country on a daily basis,until recently, “I noticed that as I was reading or might I say(trying )to read a (interesting (ed op)I was repeatedly interrupted by the annoying commercials that you have allowed companies to interject into your forum,as I have to lost track an at times interest in what I have an interest in reading,then I must stop and look for that very small (x) and then try and tap on it with my large thumbs,because I don’t always carry a (stylus all times, well that being said I began looking for an alternative for(you)I’m not interested in commercials while I am reading,it is bad enough when I watch television,I understand you have a need to pay bills but it help if we were at least given an option to look and or listen as opposed to feeling like a (captive in your program,I do like your format as I can go to top and pick and change topics at will, but the commercials just pop up so fast that I get (frustrated,and start looking for another venue..Thank you James in (Sacramento.
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1 year ago, Warpstream
Too many annoying pop-up ads
I like this app to get news across many different sources. It is good except for one glaring annoyance, the pop-up ads that make you sit there and wait for an x to appear. I have been using this app for years and have watched it get more and more annoying with the pop-up ads. The latest is where it brings up the ad and makes you wait until the x slowly fades in to close it. Even worse, if you click on the x before it fully fades in, it takes you to the link in the ad that you are trying to close. This is so annoying that I refuse to be part of it. When that type of pop-up ad appears, I close the app, and get my news from other sources. Not one time has that type of ad worked with me. Waiting for an ad, that I can read in one second or less, to fade in the x so I can close it has not resulted in me wanting the app or service advertised. I have never, on purpose, clicked on the link. What it has accomplished is me closing the app. I support having ads on this free app. In order for this app to remain free, there needs to be revenue creation. This particular ad style is not the way. It does not, at least for me, help achieve the revenue goals that are desired.
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4 years ago, tmanokc
A couple bugs and a suggestion
I recently reset my iPad’s settings and content, and upon reinstalling SmartNews, the app’s notifications won’t push anymore. It misses the scheduled update notification times and doesn’t display breaking news notifications. Stories aren’t even being put in the inbox. Also, for a long time, some stories featured on the app are unable to display the full article text in “smart mode”, either omitting paragraphs or not being parsed at all or correctly to display the complete text featured in the original source page. Oddly, the notifications were still working properly when I upgraded my iPad from iPadOS 13.7 to 14.0 after the latter OS was released, with the most recent SmartNews update installed. Also, I’d like to suggest changes to the weather page to include a summary of the current weather observations (adding dew point, wind, barometric pressure, “feels like” temperature, visibility and humidity, along with sky conditions and air temperature). The current format of putting just the current temperature and sky conditions in the hourly forecast panel just doesn’t make sense, given that the weather page provides more detailed information on the forecast while only providing the bare minimum when it comes to current conditions.
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1 year ago, Blammage
It’s Too Much Now
I have loved Smart News for years. They have been my primary source of news on my phone. But two issues have unfortunately caused me to uninstall the app. The first (and more minor) issue is the lack of control over my feed. Months ago I asked the app to show me fewer stories from one source. You don’t have the ability to straight up ban a content provider. Or if there is a way, I haven’t been able to find it. When I contacted support, they said to use the “show less content from this provider” setting. After changing the setting I continue to see what looks like the same amount of content in my feed from the source. So, one star gone. The second issue (and more major for me) is the incredible battery drain I experience while using the app. I can read Apple News for an hour and see about 1% battery loss. But using SN for just 15 minutes causes my phone to heat up to the point of discomfort while holding it, and eats 3-5% of my battery. This is just astonishing to me, and it seems to be getting worse. I lost 7% of my battery yesterday morning while using the app for 18 minutes. So, second star gone. I really like Smart News, and I am genuinely sad to say goodbye to this wonderful aggregator. But I just feel like it’s no longer worth it considering how much better it consumes. I’ll give it a year and check back in to see if things have improved. But I don’t have much hope. This issues has persisted since I started using the app years ago.
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4 years ago, Don't even think about it1988
Ad popping
This app is now randomly throwing up full screen ads with hidden dismiss buttons. It’s amazing how something can go from good to junk apps with one greed based change. Ditching it, you should too. However, this review won’t make it anywhere near the top of reviews for obvious reasons. I’ve found great replacement that doesn’t force feed ads and in comparison to this app, they get me the news I want to read, while still allowing me to find what I want that’s outside my immediate interest. Importantly, without then flooding me with garbage because I read one article. You can say what you don’t like, and that stuff isn’t forced down your throat either. It’s not hard to find something much better, you should look. The developer is asking for suggestions. The suggestion is do not pop up full screen ads that are difficult to close and require user input, or worse killing the app. Simple. The inline ads were (are) plentiful without this. The fact that people don’t click them except accidentally is not a cue to make them full screen and hard to close. That motivation is about $ and advertisers, which has nothing to do with delivering the news. Not the product spots masquerading as articles, the actual news. Either you are a news app or an advertising outlet. Smart news seems to have made that choice. That’s why I, and many others are abandoning the app. It’s not a hard calculus.
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2 years ago, kikkobirdie
Ads have killed this app.
I have no problem accepting ads as part of the deal for this free app. I have been a Smart News user for years. I did not mind the apps in the news streams. I felt the pop ads that take over the screen a bit annoying. The Taboola ads were just about where I drew the line. But recently the app has become unusable. A new type of ad that pulls the screen black and starts a video ad in the middle of reading an article. Ok annoying. Hit the close button and it comes back or appears in another 10 seconds. Or worse I have to close the app down. At this point I feel it has made the app too much of nuisance to use. Maybe they will change this ad type but for now I guess I am back to Google News. UPDATE: This is better now the Taboola pop ups are lees frequent. But the pop ads still are annoying. New issue for me at least is the amount of battery energy being used in a short session. In 10 minutes my battery will drop 5% it’s like a gas guzzler. Are ther magical settings to help with this? I have location services off and background app refresh off still destiny’s my battery. I save using the app to late at night. If the app uses energy for ads I would be down for an ad free version.
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6 years ago, GiveItARestAlready
App should be named MSNBC2
Being fed up with pretty much all media outlets having a noticeable political bias and wanting to JUST k ow what happened, not someone’s analysis of it, I’ve been looking for an app that just gives the news. Let me figure out what it means. an app that I can open up, see what happened in the world today and close it. I gave this app about 4 months. Every time I opened it it seemed to get worse. If there was a Trump/Republican bashing article anywhere on the net, you’ll find it on the front page here. You don’t even have to read the articles to see that everything on this site is for liberals. The titles are hilariously liberal. Don’t think I’ve seen a single article pertaining to the US government or the White House or republican that wasn’t a negative liberal opinion piece. I scrolled through about 5 minutes ago and it was ridiculous. Finally decided to delete it. This isn’t a news site. If you really just want to know what happened in the world today, this is not the site for you. Update: Based on the developers feedback, it’s obvious that anyone who points out that this is a liberal leaning site is told to try Fox News for your conservative views. I’m not even a conservative. Just someone looking for unbiased news and this poser is telling everyone that points out their obvious bias that they’re a conservative and need to look elsewhere for their conservative views. This won’t be around long.
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2 months ago, geoduck4569
Should call it Kardashian news service
The main problem with SmartNews is the complete lack of customization or filtering of topics or sources. They also use a huge number of “repeater” sources that simply summarize an article from another site. They provide a button for “suggest less news like this” but it does absolutely nothing. They serve literally thousands of click-bait stories about the Kardashian clan, no matter how many hundred times one clicks the “less news like this” link. If world war 3 broke out, half the “top news” stories would still be about what kim kardashian had for lunch. Other big problem is the heavy reliance on non-US sources for their “USA Edition”… often using titled versions of British tabloids like “The US Sun” (for example). I guess they dont want to license content from legitimate US sources! Could be a decent aggregator if they would fix the customization problem and improve their source pool… and lose their obvious algorithmic obsession with the K-family. Their standard response is “we emphasize discovery over personalization” but think about that… what that really means is “we don’t care what content you do or don’t want… we prefer to keep ramming the content of OUR choice down your throat whether you like it or not. Here… have another 50 kardashian stories!” Is what you want more important than what customers want??
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3 years ago, Invisible Mikey
Useful within Limits
I live in a small town in Washington state. I use news aggregation apps to increase my access to local stories. Like many other competing apps, this one regularly confuses articles about “Washington” (the state) with ones about “Washington DC” (the nation’s capital). I have to sort through the relevant vs irrelevant items. This may be a limit common to current search engine algorithms, an inability to refine results within the same keyword. Aside from that problem, I like the way this app is able to be configured to favor a wide range of specific topics as you refine your interests. The tab arrangement facilitates rapid navigation. The ads are able to be scrolled past easily. They don’t obscure content on the home page, which is a plus. I do not like the ambiguous “pitch” notification used under the “profile” button to try to get your email, which suggests signing in will make the app work significantly better or faster. I tried it side-by-side several times with other friends who signed in while I didn’t. We got identical results with the same topics selected, whether signed in or not. That alone cost the app a “star”.
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5 years ago, Upsetusernumber99
Would give 5 but...
First off, to anyone complaining about it being “left leaning,” use your head for more than five seconds and control your emotions. I mean that seriously. The app is customizable to allow you to choose the exact news sources you want to see, provided they are in the app. Even if (not saying it is), the app is “left leaning”, do what I do. Just read from sources you trust, just add the right leaning channels. Or, get a bit of balance and have both sides presented before you when you open the app.. which is kinda the point of the app if you’ve seen the commercials. Anyways, I would give 5 stars if there’s a bit more customization. Customization on notifications, frequency of notifications, notifications for new stories from specific channels, etc. And, I would love a “Save for Later” feature. I often find myself opening the app, scrolling through, and seeing several headlines that sound interesting but I don’t have the time or just don’t want to read them at the time. Atm I’m just saving the link to those articles in Notes. I’d much rather be able to tap a button or two that saves it within Smart News itself in a “Save for Later” tab.
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3 years ago, MLKMQ
NOW DELETED but WAS Best News Aggregator BY FAR
Below is my former 5 Star Review and I am now rating this ZERO Stars and this has nothing to to with politics as some have commented In the past, you could go to the Discover Tab and add Tabs from the various content providers (AP, CNN, Fox) Inexplicably that ability has been removed for the Follow Tab, which requires 4 more clicks to read the same content You folks literally took the best laid out app I have ever seen (News or otherwise) and created an app that I had to delete Whoever came up with the idea to eliminate the ability to add Tabs for the “Following” Tab should be fired in one of the most egregious screw ups in iOS history ————————- I have tried numerous News Apps and have left each one as they were not exactly what I was looking for From Design to Content, this is exactly how I would have built it myself. I do NOT understand the reviews which state that it leans one side of the aisle or the other...just don’t pick that particular channel if you feel that way My only criticism (and it is no biggie) is on the Top Stories tab, I could do without the “For You” section. I rarely find those stories interesting and would just prefer additional “Top Stories” to continue on scrolling down that page That aside this is the perfect News App
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2 years ago, Raptor136
Outstanding App
Here's the scoop. I've been using it for a few days and I've really enjoyed it. The way it is layered out (not a typo) means that I am likely to read some stories that I would never see otherwise. I like how it swipes from page to page. And, in web view if you normally comment on articles the comments are there. But what I really like is the choice between "Web" and "Smart" views. In smart view it looks more like a magazine article and all those "12 reasons why her abs are fake" or "This one wierd trick proves that insurance is a scam" click bait ads are NOT. EVEN. THERE. It would get a 5th Star if Smart View was able to be the default view. And, you can add your own news feeds as well. But, I would not recommend turning it into "All Sports" or "All Lifestyle". You need some balance. So, make sure you keep the real news. Because you really needed to know that POTUS had a sore throat. Updated to drop from four to two stars. When you share a news item it takes the person to a “get the app” page. So, attaching to social media means anyone looking has to have the app. The work around was to open in Safari Reader and copy the URL. Now, those don’t work. Might as well start looking for a new aggregator.
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2 years ago, Messyalien
News from all sides
This is my morning ritual. After waking up and tending to the needs of myself and my animals, I sit down with a cup of hot cocoa and read this app’s articles. This app features the best articles from all side, democrats, republicans and independents. I get both sides of an issue. I feel very informed and the best thing is I don’t have to see pictures of all the worst things like the tv news shows. I don’t need those images in my head. I can imagine, but it’s not the same as seeing it. Each article has a link to the original post if needed. But I get to choose if I want to go looking for pictures. Plus, I get fun stories and posts from Reddit, Bored Panda and BuzzFeed for lighthearted reading. Critical to my mental health in these troubling times. I highly recommend this app to everyone. ps… the execs at this app, I like the previous format of the top stores better. IMHO. Update…. Thank you for putting the top stories back to the old format. Much easier to stay informed.
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3 years ago, jdilch422
Customizable news
SmartNews allows the user to select news by topic (business, science, entertainment, politics) or by source (CNN, Fox, Huffpost). Any one who says the stories that are presented are “too liberal” or “too conservative” need only select sources they like so they can stay in their echo chamber and never hear another opinion. Pros: wide variety of topics and sources; stories can be viewed on the Web tab or the Smart tab, which eliminates some of the ads and clutter found on the Web tab; allows the user to see news from sources they might not usually visit. Cons: recent update now allows full page pop up ads and also allows some ads to play music while viewing the selected news item with no way to turn off without exiting the page. REALLY ANNOYING, and has the effect of wanting to never buy a product advertised in this manner; most stories aren’t dated, and can hang around for days; some sites are clickbait/fake news but get tossed into the mix with reputable sites; the Local tab isn’t always local news and can show news from places on the other side of the state. Would have given four stars but the new ad policy cuts it to three.
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5 years ago, Esbt123456
Big Time Liberal News Aggregator
Look here, it’s not smart news when I have to physically add stories and sources. If you had good AI, you would know what I read and don’t read, which would give you a sense of what I am interested in, instead of spamming me with all kinds of liberal political news. And here’s the kicker, you defend your system, vice taking my recommendations to make your system better. The fact you refuse to make changes tells me that 1) the system is doing what you want, or 2) you lack the maturity and business sense to operate the business you are selling. UPDATE: Now why don’t you tell the truth? Almost all the stories are big-time left wing stories. Every once in a while you you toss in a conservative website origin story, and you call that balanced. Sometimes I would search for a conservative story and have to dig pages into searches. How about news that is not political, period? Or like I have seen quite a few liberals who think that media such as MSNBC and Huffington Post is centrists...maybe you actually believe that. Anyways, as long as you keep this business model, you will keep me away. Tried a long time but almost all the news is extreme liberal news. There is no balance...and it certainly could not figure out I want real news, not politics.
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5 years ago, DivaRB
Fair and balanced? It is not! Primary stories are from Huff Post, NYT, Washington Post, NBC, etc. Really? Fox News and just a handful of more conservative media is at the very very end of the list. Any use who gave this app a high rating must be a very progressive liberal. Very despicable of Smart News people to try to deceive the public. This app does not fairly display the stories from ALL media outlets. It just doesn’t. I tried it so I could see for myself. And I will delete this app. Note to the Smart News responder .. “if you want a more conservative view you should add add Fox News, blah blah .. “. why didn’t you program it in there to begin with, so that the app would appear as you advertise it will be on your lame commercial? Why should CONSERVATIVE people have to tweak the app? It should be FAIR to begin with. You see, a very liberal person will think this is great and will continue to believe they are getting fair news. THEY ARE NOT! Shame on YOU! I received an inadequate reply from Nathan telling me exactly what I thought he would say .. same as above. They just don’t get it. What I’m saying is that they should set up a FAIR sampling of media outlets in the first place. Instead, they are setting up LIBERAL publications, and then I have to change my selections. Why can’t you be more fair?
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5 years ago, Exmon11
Becoming more social and celebrity news source
When I first saw the app - was pleasantly surprised on the scope of of the feeds - seemed to collect from all sources. Now it seem too many - perhaps based on trends of what people are clicking on the most from each of the “news sources”. My observation : Looking at the “Top” stories tab it appears to me 50% of the stories are not what I consider news but how some socialite lost their spouse, who is sleeping with who, how a Instagram star was refused service because they were being obnoxious... I generally do not see the value of the stories on that section which is disappointing. To me those types of stories are interesting but it is not news. I know they are eye catching but feels more like buying a family size bag of tortilla chips only finding it 1/4 full of chips and 3/4 air because the product is sold by weight and not volume... I did not want the air - I wanted to chips... HOWEVER the app does most other do not - pull from sources you don’t see on others like Google News, Apple News...etc. I like SmartNews and will continue to use it as my top news aggregator but will generally avoid Top tab.
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7 months ago, NBrazil
Huge battery drain & overheat continues after quitting
I really like this app except for web view. When it launches whatever browser view it devours battery at like 5-10% a minute!!! I see no way to select the browser it uses. Of course smart view doesn’t eat power like that, but sometimes you want the web view. So that’s why only 2 stars. 10% a minute? And iPhone gets hot! Like the selection of stories but sometimes it just duplicates the same story. So, meh. Adding to review. Now it causes my (new) iPhone 12 mini to overheat! Yep. I have an app that reads the battery temperature and it goes from nominal to serious in a few minutes (once critical) of use. And of course the device is physically hot. Only this app. So something in it is making heavy use of the cpu? I cannot really use SmartNews and I like it, but it is overheating my phone. ADDING: the overheating is significant, and the ads during scrolling increases this until phone so hot it freezes. Quitting app doesn’t help, so guessing ads continue in background. I have to restart every time I use this app to cool the phone down. Don’t like this “feature” of ads not letting go in background even after quitting.
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3 years ago, Talonhawk101
App Continuously Freezing up
When I first started using the app, the fact that it equally showed all sides of the equation. Left-right-Qs-nut cases etcetera. However, lately the app has started to freeze up after a few minutes of use. Sometimes it will unfreeze, but mostly it stays frozen until the app closes itself or in frustration I say screw this and and close the app myself. The same has happened to my girlfriend who introduced me to the app, so I know it’s not my phone which is btw a brand new. Both she and I have removed the app multiple time and re-installed it to the same results. Don’t get me wrong the info on the app is very informative and sometimes hilarious when the app is working. But it’s freezing up more than it works. Especially when you get to the middle that one really interesting article and boom frozen. The article might be there when it comes on but mostly it’s not. Just wanted you to know. A faithful but frustrated fan
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2 years ago, Jkwic
I never leave reviews
I really love this app. I read this news every day and sometimes several times a day. I supported that it had ads as that what it takes to fund an app that doesn’t require purchase. But the ads have gotten out of control. Back to back full page ad with Hidden delete buttons that it becomes so hard to touch that you open an ad just trying to close it. And the ads are so consistent and ridiculous that you almost memorize them and hate them every time you see them because you see it so much. They pop up in the middle of reading some thing I’m really interested in and then I end up clicking 10 times just to get back where I was to finish reading an article that’s available on so many other apps. I just loved it the way that this one was designed but now it’s become a bit too much. I try to ignore the refresh that loses my place when trying to get to another article but now reading the news on this app has become more work than it is pleasure. With that note I’m gonna have to say goodbye SmartNews. I wish you well in the future and I hope that you can conform a little more to the readers and keep their interest while funding the project.
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4 years ago, airguitarbandit
Solid, simple and customizable
I really like the simplicity of this app, especially the smart view of articles that strips away all the ads and such (though it does take images with it sometimes, it’s tricky). I also like that I can set a location and get local stuff mixed in. I would love a history feature where I can see a list of articles I’ve viewed, even the last like 25 would do. I often will want to share good stuff with someone when the topic comes up later in the day or I’ve even locked my phone halfway through an article, then get a notification for another interesting story and click it, only to remember I still had that other article finish which is now gone. Just a suggestion. Overall, really dig the app. Update: starting to see what others are saying about the spam-y articles seemingly being added to the “top” feed. I’ve unsubscribed to all the general channels and only follow publications now, but my top feed still has CNN and Buzzfeed mixed in. I assumed top feed was the aggregate of what I follow and nothing else. Would much prefer that.
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4 months ago, rocket!
The Ads are out of control
I’m on the hunt for a new news app and I truly am so upset about it. I have been using this app for years and I truly believe it is one of the best resources I’ve found for a well-rounded news wrap up. The ads in the articles don’t bother me, but every other article I click on pops up an advertisement usually for some sort of app and even when I click to exit the ad, the ‘x’ just disappears and I have to force close the app. I have tried to ask for an option to pay to remove ads (as I see other people here have also asked for the same thing) and since this still doesn’t appear to be a feature they will be implementing I need to find another way to get my news. The other dealbreaker that I am no longer willing to compromise on is the fact that I cannot share any news articles I find with someone unless they also download the app- forcing me to have to google a news story to share the story from a different source- adding multiple steps to something that should be simple. As I said, I do love this app but until there are some changes to improve usability I will have to find another app.
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5 years ago, aardvarkian777
Fox News/The Washington Examiner?
I enjoy the app but I wish there weren’t horribly biased “news” services mixed in with reputable ones. Some “news” outlets are gossipy, completely without merit, or are laughable propaganda. I can’t control the contributors on “Top” news for instance. “TheBlaze, Popsugar, Footwear News, US! Weekly, or People” are not offering headlines that are worthy of my time, in fact, someone perusing the top headlines should rightly conclude that Meagan McCain is the most important person in the world, Brian Kilmeade is second, and Kirstie Alley is tied for third with some random “Real Housewife of Where Ever.” This makes the world look nightmarish. It’s wearing me out sifting through the garbage. I have never clicked on Fox, TheBlaze, PopSugar, Footwear News, TMZ, Vogue, Mediate, The Pluralist, or Entertainment Tonight, yet I am not seeing any diminishment in their prominent representation in the top stories of the day, in fact, I’m finding that the more you don’t click on a news source, because you find it disgusting, the more you see it. Maybe the algorithm is broken. How can I successfully navigate through the day without seeing the”Top” news stories concerning the Kardashians, Tomi Lahren, or the Bachelorette? The advice I’m getting so far is not getting the Jessica Simpson out of my “Top News.” Sad.
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4 years ago, ColeyDets
I love reading the news - but I hate news with an agenda. Before SmartNews, I had my local Fox News app, which is about as non-bipartisan as you can get. The reason I love SmartNews is because it gives me ALL the news...all sides, from literally all media outlets. I can go to the local tab (includes everything from the local Fox plus much more) or see what’s happening in our government, or the world, or to look at funny memes and animal pic compilations. I love how it’s not all doom-and-gloom news, they include the feel-good news, too! It’s amazing!!! I would highly recommend this app to anyone, 10-stars, big thumbs up 👍👍👍👍👍👍 P.S. I LOVE the recently read feature!!! 👏👏👏 Edit: I looked over some other reviewers and I’m completely floored that people would say this app has an agenda!! Every article is from its original source, so it’s clear where the article came from. If you get triggered by one side or the other, then go into your settings and adjust the scale so that you get what you want 🙂👍
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2 months ago, JoeinAK
To many ads
This news app is IMHO the best of a bunch that are well mediocre. The most infuriating thing about the app is the number of ads inserted into every article you read. The app will insert the same ad over and over while you are scrolling down reading an article, this will cause you to lose your place at times requiring you to find where you were at. The same ad will also be inserted into all articles you read over and over and over. If I was interested in what they are advertising I would have clicked on it, I don’t need to be irritated by multiple ads of the same thing. Don’t get me going on the pop ups as well. Just ginormous amounts of ads. The app also refreshes way to often resulting in missing an article(s) you spot but haven’t had time to read, then you have no way to search for the article. Developers I can refresh the articles myself so stop with the auto refresh. The app also slows down and freezes on my tablet and gets flaky with it flipping across tabs and articles at random. Infuriating to say the least.
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4 years ago, searcher7nine
Content is tabloid trash.
**Update regarding the developer's response below. The app does allow me to remove high level topics, none of which are "celebrity gossip". They talk about the app being a news aggregator, but then say I would have to manually add different tabs from various news sources. Well, if I have to switch between numerous tabs to look through the news then it's not doing much aggregating. Seeing all my preferred news sources on one tab would be aggregating. Finally, the links to contact the developer don't work! I wanted to clarify their comments and ask for support, but was unable to. And I've tried emailing my questions to the address provided, but with no response. Downgrading my rating to one star. Original review: The layout is nice, but that's the best thing I can say about this app. I like that I can see multiple news headlines on the screen at once. Other apps gave large photos or text so you can only view one or two without scrolling. But - there are way too many junk tabloid articles and over the top partisan hate pieces. I just want factual news which I might be able to achieve if this app let me block certain "news" sources. But it doesn't. I'm tired of wading through all the junk.
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3 years ago, GJ Florida
Pros and cons
I really enjoy reading different viewpoints to make my own decisions and opinions. That is why I originally subscribed. Unfortunately so many articles have an interesting headline but when you click on it you cannot read more without paying to subscribe or the page blacks out after reading a few sentences. Sometimes the entire SmartNews site shuts down when I click on an article and closes out on my iPad. I have to reboot everything. It can be very frustrating to locate information and learn more about an article. Sometimes it seems as though many of the articles are only there for you to click on so that you can be bombarded with ads to sell something (almost all are things I have no use or desire to have and some have been borderline pornography!). If I need something I go looking for it on the web. I understand the need for having advertisements to cover the cost of the site and can deal with straightforward ads, but stealth/misleading clickbait articles brings down my enjoyment of your site and pushes me to go elsewhere.
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3 years ago, FalconJM
Ultra bias in favor of liberal agenda
This app is clearly clearly clearly clearly guilty of pushing a liberal agenda. Pathetic. You are guilty of helping divide the country. Law abiding conservatives are being labeled as racist bigoted people every single day. So false! Disturbing and wrong when you scroll through the top stories, it is so obvious that this app is purposely pushing a liberal agenda. The hypocrisy level is off the charts where left leaning news outlets are writing headlines and articles themselves that are misleading and biased. Putting everyone and everything in buckets based on race or sexual orientation. It’s almost as if the Democrats have nothing left to offer other than being ‘nice and kind’ which is far from what I see with my own eyes on a daily basis. Lies with an agenda. Y’all are not news agencies. Simply put y’all work for the Democrat party. Your developer response is not helpful. It’s auto generated and actually admits that you feel news should be based on your preference. News is news regardless of what you want to hear. It should be factual. Period. Leave the opinions to the readers, not the writers and then and only then will you have smart news!
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5 years ago, Samarnett14
Downloaded because I like these types of apps to read all the news soon as I opened it I could clearly see whoever does this has a hand in the liberal agenda to destroy America it’s way obvious then I read one of their cringe worthy articles and realize they really are scared most the new generation along with older hipsters and all the career students that racked up debt on pointless wemon study degrees etc. are so afraid they’re everyone else will pay for my bills and generally lazy lifestyle don’t fear trump doesn’t even need to campaign watch and see the deplorable will show up faster than you liberals can create voters bus them in from Mexico Canada it’s not even a possible outcome to loose I been over this whole country the last year just count bumper stickers from even the last election most elections even the winners voters take them off but they’re all still on even the Hillary jail ones and I’m pretty sure she has died already or went back to her hole she came from
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9 months ago, Mlance
I absolutely love this application I found it by accident within the first 30 days you came out and I’ve been using it since I recommend it to all of my friends but there is one floor that fathers actually two floors that I would like to correct first floor is the ability to leave a review about an article read through your service and I would like the ability or have an area where we could have reviews for article and then go and find them or leave them etc. because some of the stories that you put out through no fault of your own make people look like a circus clown and I would like to comment on this check Rudy Giuliani for example there’s nowhere else to go with that one anyway moving forward if you could add that feature I appreciate it second feature if there’s a way to send a News app I guess so better to my phone saying breaking story if I want to add that feature is that available?t do you only problem is too many commercials.
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3 years ago, TravelingFootballDad
Close to perfect, I’m sure they can get there though...
So let’s address the complainants about bias - out of the box, the app may appear to have a slant - but that’s also because the majority of the news outlets have a slant - can’t help that if you are a new aggregator - that being said, the devs have provided a library of sources that spans the spectrum of ideology and you can easily tweak the app to your own bias or neutrality or whatever you want to call it. In other words, customize the app, do not expect the app to read your thoughts. The single item of improvement - I get everyone needs to have a revenue source and SmartNews is no different - in their case, ad revenue is their source. Give us the option to opt out of ads by purchasing an ad-free subscription - monthly/annually/one-time - give us the option to either deal with the ads or remove them. Keep producing a solid product - doing great overall.
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6 years ago, joke101010101
Biased left wing rag! Couldn’t even get past one topic that gave the story from the middle. UPDATE: your response to my review leaves me with a chuckle. The point of your site is to provide unbiased reporting to the people that have chosen to download this app...UNBIASED! Get it? To have me add or update Fox News et all is ludicrous... 1. I could download their apps. 2. You assume those are conservative sites. 3. You assume I’m looking for a ‘ slant’ to my news. All of which are wrong and ignorant. I’m looking for the news! Plain and simple. YOUR SITE FAILS WHAT YOU ACTUALLY ADVERTISE. I don’t care what your opinion or the opinion of who you paste and copy from is. I want the news straight and to the point. EXAMPLE? Sure... your NFL coverage of the kneeling during the anthem. 100% in line with liberal ideology. You’re nothing more than a cut and paste app. Much like the Patch sites. This is a loser of an app! A fraud! A lie! I’ll gladly let everyone I know not to waste the 10 seconds it takes to download your plagiarized cut and paste crap. Not worth the time or effort. Reviewing you however was more than worth it. You’ve been called out for the charlatan that you are. You can’t even get a simple business model right.
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6 months ago, Dasomx77
Twitter constantly breaks navigation in Smartnews
It started with just plainly reading any article and suddenly being taken away to a “twitter platform” page within the app to now just scrolling through the feed and all of a sudden twitter platform opening on a different browser, makes no sense and is pretty infuriating. When this happens while reading an article, it happens every 10 seconds or so as I navigate back to finish what I started reading then after the third back navigation the article itself renders with an ad blocking the entire view (understand no way to scroll and just an ad sitting in the middle of my screen). This used to be a relatively ok app but with things like that you start alienating your users. Adding another issue, apparently interactive ads are now being fed to users in article views, you cannot scroll them as you naturally would, why, you ask? Because they are interactive and hold your tap hostage and move the character instead of your actual article you are reading. Folks, get it together! I have had multiple instance when I wanted to throw this app away and it is getting worse by the minute!
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2 years ago, ktkp22
Enjoyable so far!
I’ve had this app for a handful of days and I enjoy it quite a bit. I can see myself using it regularly - not a download and forget type app. The automatic local news and the “smart view” is a great touch! I used Apple News about a year ago but deleted it because everything felt “curated” to what they think I need to hear vs what I actually want to read. One addition that I would like that this app does NOT have - Screenshotting/exporting entire articles. I love to save news clippings here and there and this app (nor any other I’ve come across?) has that feature. Updated after a few months (changed from 5 stars to 2): I ended up deleting. The sports news is of no interest to me and there no way to turn this off. The app is just a nuisance at this point. I also noticed most news is swayed away from the conservative side (maybe there’s just more left leaning news out there). But the app wasn’t picking what I actually READ as an interest vs. articles I clicked on and had no interest in reading. The app has great potential it just wasn’t suiting my needs.
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7 years ago, Purplepunch12321
Smart News, Bias Notifications
I downloaded this app because I heard good things about it. Let’s face the facts here MSN is dominated and ruled by liberal bias. You can scream and shout and say otherwise but don’t let that cognitive dissonance get in the way, it is. Conservative/Republican MSM is Fox News and A.M. radio. Thats it. I have to admit, when I first downloaded this app, The homepage was almost split with different news sources. I’d say 40-60 split with liberal news still dominate. But fair. I really enjoy the food and wine pages and some of the entertainment. It’s good to see the contrast for political stories as well. The issue is with the push notifications. Why am I constantly getting news sources pushed to me that are anti-GOP, anti-Trump, and bias news favoring the left? I mean Jesus Christ...I got a couple notifications from sources like Huffington post...they’re nothing more than a glorified blog with bias points of views and zero fact. I like the notifications on my iPhone and watch. But I’m turning them off. I’ve never seen one pro conservative news story pushed to me. There is still a bias here and it’s obvious.
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3 years ago, Zazaqw
Ads above ethics
I acknowledge that private publishers have a right to publish content from all perspectives. However, the SmartNews algorithm allows for some really despicable takes on current events to have a greater megaphone. Pieces written from the perspective of white nationalists have repeatedly made their way into my feed. News outlets engaged in vaccine misinformation continued to get fed into my newsfeed. News outlets that denied the facts of the January 6th Insurrection continued to be published. In a correspondence with their team, a staffer wrote to me that “ there’s no personal bias going into the channels that you see every day, nor do we favor any specific publisher over another. What you see is what people are talking about online at that moment, and this changes on a regular basis.” This is a problematic perspective aimed to absolve SmartNews of their social responsibility not to cause harm by amplifying problematic content that can harm others. Instead, they continue to publish this content to gain ad revenue. I am deleting SmartNews in favor of Newsfeed apps that give customers control to not see content that is hateful or harmful, or newsfeeds that self monitor for the same results.
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2 years ago, Km Jen
Thank you!
I thank you for existing and I really like the format. I find it easy to use and reasonably spaced well so my eyes aren't overwhelmed I find interesting that people are noticing a liberal bias as well, but I blame the media for that, not the developer. I'm not affiliated so I was looking for something that offers multiple perspectives and topics. I'm impressed with the selection so far. Reason magazine in particular. I like that you can customize your own choices for more control and better balance. At any rate , i got this app to leave my comfort zone on occasion. It has been enlightening and sometimes frightening. But I'm tired of being in an echo chamber. Break away from divisive forces and understand each other better. This app makes me feel like I'm doing that in a small way. Thanks to the developers for the service and I hope they welcome some smaller, indie news sites in the future
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6 years ago, Wxwyz
The Era of dumb apps continues
After reading an article and going back to main screen, the application reloads the articles and jumps you to the top. Thanks for losing my spot for two new articles that are actually days old and I’ve already seen, you think. Then begin to scroll through the articles again to try to find where you previously were. With no help at all from the app, this will happen over and over. So you open up the settings believing the creators would give you the ability to prevent such a thing, applications used to provide customizations for almost everything, surely there is a way to prevent this madness. Unfortunately, you only find a couple of unhelpful options and details about the app and/or how to leave a review. The creators appear to know exactly what we want, so I suppose there is no need to let us configure anything. If you’re thinking, all the other iOS news apps do the same thing, you’d be exactly right. Now you know this app does it too and will hopefully save you time from trying this app thinking you’re going to get something better. Which I guarantee is what they want you to think based off their unique name.
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1 year ago, Kendingro
The best news aggregator in history, but….
I love smartnews. I love it to bits and pieces, but the advertisements make it impossible to use properly. If i’m scrolling through an article, the app freezes for minutes at a time, and the only thing the app has to show for the time it just wasted is that the ads are now loaded on my article that IS ALREADY supposed to be cut down and easy to read. This happens with every single article, no matter the source, no matter my internet connection. It’s impossible for me to actually read the news because the app freezes or crashes entirely because the advertisements need seven business days to load so i can scroll through my article. I love smartnews and i love the team behind it and i understand the need for adverts (especially in this economy) but for the love of god, if you’re gonna have ads, please make them not break the app. Thank you guys for making the literal best news app i’ve ever used <3
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1 year ago, aresbe1
I have really enjoyed this app. It gives a multitude of perspectives that I appreciate. But, since the last update, it has developed a very annoying problem. Noise. I use this app all over the place, including libraries and hospital waiting areas. The ads, for the most part, are tolerable. But now there are ads with loud audio content. This is unacceptable in certain areas and very embarrassing as well. This might end up causing me to remove this app, which I am not all that keen to do. So far, this is the only news app to have adopted this unfortunate feature. Please find a solution. The ads have taken over the app. I am scrolling down and then the news articles are pushed down by pop up ads. I go to hit an article that I want to read only to be sent to an advertising page because a pop up ad took the place of the article at the last moment. It is making the reading of news articles almost impossible. Disgusting.
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1 year ago, Forrest_Bennett
Been Using This App for 7 Years
Pros: This has always been the best news app in terms of algorithm and finding the articles most important days ahead of the regular news cycle. Absolutely love that about this app. Cons: What I do not like, are the pop up ads. Would much rather prefer a subscription option that costs, say, 5 dollars a month. No ads? Would 100% pay for that. Maybe even 10 dollars. I use the app less now because some pop up ads cannot be dismissed, or play sound automatically, which is great when I’m laying in bed late at night and get blasted with some obnoxious ad for an obscure iOS game. Lol. Additional con: the most recent update removed the ability to share articles as regular links to the original site it was posted on. IN ADDITION, you can no longer “open in browser”. It just points back to the app again… I understand trying to retain traffic to the application, so you get more ad views, and thus revenue… but we cannot isolate the app like this. It ruins a wonderful utility it had prior to this most recent update. Please fix:(
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3 years ago, Rheneas1
Decent but sometimes confusing
I have used this app as my main news source for a couple of years now. A good variety of news sources and points of view. Perhaps a little too heavy on celeb and retro TV stories, Costco and fast food news, but that’s okay. It would really be helpful if the article listings indicated what country they are coming from. I open an article about new ATM withdrawal rules, and it pertains to India. I open an article about something new McDonalds is offering and it’s in the UK. Wendy’s is offering a strawberry Frosty, but in Canada. If my app is set for US, I don’t expect a headline to be about Australia. Or Argentina. It’s okay, but I don’t want to have to dig into an article to find out it isn’t relevant. Then the algorithm thinks I was interested and then it sends more irrelevant content. Listing the country source (even a flag or country abbreviation) would really be helpful and informative. (Can’t go by the name of the publication because you can’t always tell).
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5 years ago, Neogambit
Not a bad app but!!!
I read a lot of the reviews on here and every one is I thought you said this app is “balanced” news. But everybody is complaining it’s not balanced because all there looking for is one side of the story. There either for Trump or against him. They don’t want to hear the other side. To Trump supporters of its not Fox News it’s Fake news. So why are you looking to find “balanced” news when you really don’t want to hear it??? The same goes the other way. The second thing. The reason I gave this app a low score is because I understand you have a free app and you need revenue but the pop up adds and all the advertising is absolutely ridiculous. There are news sources that don’t even let you see the news because there advertising for you to buy something from them. CNN has at least 4-5 pop ups in the first 10-15 seconds. I couldn’t even go into a comments section because it just kept popping up to the same exact spot even if I tried to scroll up or down. It is ridiculous. I think I’ve had enough of this app. I’ll find my news (on both sides) somewhere else.
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1 year ago, Dean14111
The left wing bias is unreal
75% of the articles that show up in the feed are clickbait left wing headlines that are all clearly bias which can be said for most new sources with both parties to an extent but these are usually flat out false or purposely written out of context and you can’t even judge for yourself by reading the article because the random “news” sources posting those clickbait titles sometimes leave out the details that show for a fact that what they are saying is false and the story is literally purposely made to make anyone or any topic that isn’t left wing look bad and I’m saying that as someone that’s not a fan of either party. Plus you can’t even use the “see less of” “see more of” feature because when I see those clickbait false articles I click on them and verify they’re fake then I click “see less from ____ (“news” agency)” yet I still see just as much from all of them that I’ve done it to including when I click “see more from ____” or “follow ____ “ on the very rare news agencies that post mostly unbiased news articles and then I see the same amount from them as I did before
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