Apps, Digital & Mobile, Interviews — July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

Stay in the Loop with NewsLoop

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Spend your morning with a hot cup of coffee while catching up on the latest news with NewsLoop, Singtel’s newly launched iPad app that collates articles from a wide range of local and international media sources and blogs into a comprehensive, easy-to-use interface. Available for free download on the Apple App store, NewsLoop offers users the convenience of browsing through internationally renowned news sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC and ESPN alongside independently-run blogs and Singapore-based favourites such as The Online Citizen, Techgoondu, Lady Iron Chef and even Music Services Asia! We interview Mr Cheong Hai Thoo, Singtel’s Head of Multimedia to find out more about the exciting new application.


Music Services Asia: How does NewsLoop differ from other news/magazine apps like Pulse and Flipboard?

Mr Cheong Hai Thoo: NewsLoop is developed by people living in Singapore for the Singaporean market. When we look at content providers we always ask the question: Will this interest a Singaporean reader? That means we pull news from local news media, magazines and blogs.
At the same time we have international news from agencies like BBC and Reuters, and football updates from ESPN because we know that’s what people in Singapore want.  This level of understanding separates us from other services based in the US or elsewhere.

What different categories/topics does NewsLoop have? Is there an Asian focus?

We have over 25 categories readers can choose from.  We have a mix of hard news like Singapore News, International News, Business & Finance and then we have lifestyle categories like Food & Drink, Music and Travel.  We’ve also aggregated the latest events and discounts in our What’s On and Deals categories.
Almost half of the 230 news sources that we handpicked are from Singapore. For example The Online Citizen, Channel NewsAsia, publichouse.sg, ieat.ishoot.ipost, Chubby Hubby, Lady Iron Chef, CNet Asia, Techgoondu, Tech65 and of course, Music Services Asia.

Tell us more about the 3 viewing styles.

We recognise that the way people read changes depending on the time of day and their location, so we did a lot of work with an external design agency to develop a user experience that’s adaptable. Sometimes people want to quickly skim headlines when they’re short on time so we created a carousel of headlines. There is a magazine-like reading experience for when people have more time. And if you’re multitasking then you can use Press Play which is a hands-free slide show experience.

What benefits will NewsLoop offer to its target audience?

I think these days there is so much interesting content online but trying to keep up with all of the sources I know about is hard enough, let alone discovering new publishers and bloggers that might be of interest to me.
Our job here at NewsLoop is to do the work for people and we do that in 2 ways. Firstly we have a team of editors who find the best of the Internet and bring it all into one beautiful iPad app. And then we have a pretty smart personalisation tool that learns over time what topics each reader is most interested in.
So if you read about indie music, NewsLoop learns this and in future you’ll see more and more indie music stories in your NewsLoop. Alternatively if you’re really into opera and classical, you’ll see more of those stories in your Music category.

You’ve launched the iPad version of the app on 17th July; will there be an iPhone version to follow?

Yes it’s currently in the works. We can’t wait to use the iPhone version ourselves, and target to release this before the end of the year. Android tablet and phone versions will follow in 2013.

If you’ve got an iPad, be sure to download NewsLoop via the App Store here!