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App Review: Brief Me

News information and social feed reader app that offers information stream via clean dashboard and shows bit of Metro UI influence.

Pros

Diverse category of interests can be pinned Color coded windows Windows Phone like user interface

Cons

Buggy UI at times No Tutorial to remove the tabs No unified highlights of the day style feature

In the fast-track life, it is very difficult for one to stay updated with every friend on his/her social networks as well as via the emails and text messages. Brief Me is one social browser with clean dashboard that will help you organise the data in form of streams. Inspired quite obviously from the Metro UI used in the Windows Phone, the Brief Me app promises a clean and more organised presentation of the news, social feeds and other streams to the user.

After installing, the application loads with eight specific topics to choose and also offers anchor to add the Facebook and Twitter account feeds to the app. Users can choose to receive updates related to news, technology, economy, fashion-beauty, news people, lifestyle, sports and fun. Thankfully one is not bombarded with 20-50 channels to choose from. Also one can always add or remove the selected topics later.

Brief Me’s dashboard offers the topics arranged in a grid style format with more of Metro UI look. The Latest news tile constantly keeps changing with the feeds pulled from different topics and social networks. Users can also enable specific notifications related to topics and also disable them if not required. Tap on the gear icon to head to settings and register yourself with Brief Me.

The basis of Brief Me is topics which can range from needle to basically anything available in the content Directory. The most unique part of this app is that it offers you a separate stream for your SMS and MMS messages that you may have received throughout the day. Also the Facebook and Twitter social network account streams will keep you updated with the most popular updates of the day from your friends.

To create a new stream, tap on the ‘Create a new Topic’ tile and then tap on the directory icon on the top right next to a pen icon. The surprising part is that after tapping on the Directory icon, you will either have to search for a topic or you can simply tap on the Add Topic button at the bottom of the screen to access the directory. Several topic-wise websites and blogs are classified to be added to the stream.

Thankfully this app allows pulling in RSS feeds from Google Reader service or even through Google Search. This is one reason why Brief Me earns the additional brownie point. However, it falls short to appeal visually due to its tile interface which makes it difficult to determine if the recent update is useful.

Adding new topics indeed is bit confusing and tedious affair and we hope the developers fix it quickly. One had to go back and forth between the menus even to delete a particular topic tile.

If you want to glance through the popular streams just couple of times a day, this is certainly the app for you to have. However, it may be bit uncomfortable to use heavily if one wishes to stay updated with news as well as social network updates. The Metro UI style basic user interface needs some changes and then this app will certainly bring everything on one neat dashboard.

Verdict

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