App

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Developer: The Not So Big Company
Price: Free [$2/£2 monthly paid tier]
Size: 4.2 MB
Version: 1.0.6
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Big News

Big News is an RSS feed app with a twist. While it funnels news from your chosen sources and subjects, much like Flipboard and Feedly (and indeed Apple News), it also folds in email newsletters.

It works like this: upon signing up to the app, Big News will generate a unique email address for you. Input this rather than the your ‘real’ email address the next time you sign up to a newsletter, and it will be forwarded to this app instead. It’s a great way to declutter your inbox, if nothing else.

Big News rolls newsletters into the usual RSS feed

Tapping on your bespoke email address card from the Channels section will copy this email address to the clipboard for easy input. That said, this facility seemed to mysteriously disappear for us after a time, and it’s impossible to replicate the copy function from the email listing in the Settings section.

Eventually these newsletters will be collated in the app’s initial Today tab, under the title of Sent To You. Merely having them arranged in two columns, complete with thumbnails, instantly makes them easier to parse than when they’re sat amongst all that email clutter.

Story presentation is clean, if not quite as slick as Apple News and co.

General online stories are surfaced in a pleasing manner under a card-based Top Stories header. The basic layout and choice of fonts suggests Apple News as a key reference point, which is no bad thing.

The app could use a little tightening up from a presentational standpoint, however. We detected a consistent judder when jumping into newsletters (and this was on an iPhone 13 Pro), while the way that regular stories expand and reconfigure the headline text before your eyes is a little disconcerting.

Newsletters are treated as another online story

Don’t get us wrong, it’s far from ugly or unpleasant to use, but with smooth operators like Flipboard and Apple News out there, the bar has been set particularly high. And really, what do we want from our RSS apps but to deliver news in as frictionless a way as possible?

The free version of Big News supplies basic functionality, but limits you to just a dozen or so channels. We’d love to be more precise here, but the exact number seems to have varied in our time with the app, adding to the impression of a work in progress.

The presentation takes cues from Apple News

Whatever the case, you’ll need to sign up to the Plus ($1.99/£1.99 per month) or Max ($3.99/£3.99 per month) tiers to expand the number of sources to 100 or 1000 channels respectively, as well as to cut out any sponsored stories. Realistically, you’ll want to choose one of these paid tiers if Big News is to make any sense as an ongoing proposition.

Ultimately, Big News isn’t quite as slick a news reading app as it needs to be right now. However, if you’ve ever wished you could consume your newsletters alongside your other news rather than spending unwanted time in your email, it’s a clever solution and there’s no other app that will cater to your needs in quite the same way.

Big News - Bring newsletters into your RSS feed
A unique combination of RSS and newsletters
The Good
  • Unique combination of RSS with newsletters
  • Custom email address
  • Range of payment/tier options
The Bad
  • Free tier overly restrictive on channels
  • Text formatting not quite as slick as it should be
  • A few performance and layout quirks
3.5Overall Score

Hi! Thanks for reading. This post looks better in our award-winning app, Tips & Tricks for iPhone.

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