Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NDTV App Review - Screenshot

So you’ve got your brand new Android phone, and you’re looking for Apps. In App Review, we’ll try to review an App every Tuesday; we’re kicking off with Android, but we’ll cover other platforms too, as and when possible.

Launched on 7th November, 2010, the NDTV app is significant, as it is the first dedicated, official mobile App by a major Indian media/news company. So when AndroidOS.in reported that it had launched, we downloaded it right away. We figured that folks out there may want to know how this App is, and how it performs – read on to find out.

Do check out this video of ours to see the actual performance of the App, running on a Spice Mi-300.

Look and feel

The App feels quite polished, and the design is efficient. There are a few instances where the App takes time to load data, and we definitely hate the fact that the App doesn’t cache the stories that you access. So if you are reading one news story, and you move to a different section of the App, when you come back to this story, it has to be downloaded again from the NDTV website. Apart from that minor hiccup, the App is a very good effort.

NDTV App Review - Categories

The User Interface for the App could take getting used to. As you can see in the image above, the App has main ‘Categories’ such as NEWS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, NDTV Social and a MORE section. Each category, has sub-sections within, as you can see the NEWS category has Top Stories, Recent, India, just to name a few. Once you get the hang of this layout, navigation is a breeze.

General Usage

In day-to-day usage, the App could get a teensy-weensy bit cumbersome, due to the load times of each article. We’re sure these times could be shortened, if not completely eliminated. We like the fact that the PHOTOS section pre-loads all the photos in 1 article, as soon as the article is accessed. This makes for smooth scrolling (by swipes) between the various photos within that particular story. The VIDEOS section is pretty useless on the go, cos try as we might, we couldn't get any of the videos to load on an EDGE connection (Yeah, we’re crazy enough to try that!) The NDTV Social section was the one that we found pretty pointless. What would have been really neat, would be if the NDTV Social section hooked us up with the Twitter feeds of each of the journalists. Instead, it simply seems to be a way for each NDTV journalist to post a thought/status/opinion/question to readers; isn’t that what Twitter is for, people? (Btw, we follow Barkha Dutt @BDUTT on Twitter) The MORE category, is pretty sweet. At first, we thought certain items were redundant, then we understood – the MORE section has non-article related items. Such as weather updates and cricket scores… With full scorecards, updated constantly. That’s a seriously nice touch. We like!

Another tiny, but useful touch, is the ticker that keeps updating at the top-right corner of the App. It keeps updating three things – BSE and NSE indices, and live cricket match scores.

Final Thoughts

What can we say? Right off the bat, we’d say the App is very useful. If you’re an Indian (even if you’re not), and you wish to keep tabs on all things Indian, this is the App to have. Right from news stories, to pictures, videos, and other items such as scores, stocks, etc. this App has it all. Sure, it has some room for improvement. But for now, this is the only decent Indian news App out there, and it’s very good. Download away and satiate your inner cravings, for all news that's Indian.


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