I have to admit that I am a bit of a news hound, particularly when there is some type of breaking news. It would not be unusual for me to spend hours in front of the TV set when there is continuous coverage of some event. With so many news sources available on the Internet, it can be difficult to keep track of topics that one is interested in. News Follower is a program that I found for Android that searches Google News and Twitter for information based on search queries that you provide.
The program is very straight forward. When you first start News Follower you see a search box at the top of the screen and two saved search topics, Android and Google, pre-populated on the main screen. To create a new query just tap the search box, enter the search term, and tap the Search button on the Android keyboard. A list of articles from Google News that contain the search term you enter displays on the News tab, and Twitter tweets containing the search term appear on the Twitter tab. Tap Save This Search at the bottom of the screen to save the search, which will appear on the program’s main screen. After you save a search you can then re-run them by tapping the search term on the main program screen.
To read a news article, simply tap the article’s title to launch the Android browser, which displays the article. I wish that News Follower provided a way to share news items, either by e-mailing the URL or posting to web sites like Twitter or Facebook. To get around this, you can share the article from the Android browser by tapping Menu, More, Share page. News Follower only retrieves eight headlines and you can retrieve more headlines by tapping More Results, but I find the default number of headlines to be too few causing me to constantly tap More Results. Unfortunately, News Follower has no settings so you cannot change the number of headlines that display. I have also experienced a high number of Force Close messages while running News Follower. The bottom line is that I like the idea behind News Follower, but I think the program needs some polish. If you are interested in trying it out, you will find News Follower in the Android Market.