We’ve just released a big update to the Breaking News Android app with a powerful feature that’s a first for a mobile app: proximity alerts. When a big story breaks near your location, we’ll send you an alert.
Proximity alerts are reserved for larger stories: significant earthquakes, tornadoes, evacuations, mass shootings, major fires, public health alerts and more. Our team of trusted journalists make real-time decisions on which geographic area — from as narrow as a neighborhood to wide as a country — should receive an alert.
It works internationally, and it will follow you as you travel — an invaluable resource even if you don’t use the app for anything else. Proximity alerts also work on Android Wear out of the box, so when a big story breaks near you, your watch will warn you.
As Fast Company wrote about our new feature, “Geolocated news is going to change the news business.”
Engaging new design
The updated app also includes a new tablet-friendly design with a long list of improvements including larger inline photos and videos, infinite scroll, faster search, improved map view and easy “tab” navigation. We created a separate “Whoa” tab for the most surprising stories, powered by our users in real time.
We also made it easier to monitor your favorite topics for the latest breaking news with a new “watchlist” tab — just tap the watchlist icon to add a topic to the list. For example, here’s my watchlist (above right), which includes the 2014 elections and my hometown of Ferndale, CA.
Tap the alert icon next to a topic to turn on notifications. In my case, I receive a push alert whenever significant news breaks about NBC (which owns Breaking News), media, Twitter, Facebook and cybersecurity.
With over 40,000 topics in the system — just search for them on the watchlist screen — you can create a powerful tool to monitor breaking news that’s important to you. Unlike Google Alerts, we notify you instantly when news breaks about a topic instead of providing a delayed list of keyword mentions.
Breaking News is the only service that tells you immediately when significant news breaks about a topic, guided by editors you can trust.
Making breaking news matter again
With so many news organizations screaming for your attention, it seems like red “breaking news” banners are a permanent fixture on TV sets and pesky push alerts are the new normal. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We even made a video about it:
The new Breaking News app is the fastest way to get the facts for the stories that matter most to you. As always, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note with feedback, and stay tuned for more features and improvements in the weeks to come.
You can download the new Android app here — or iOS here.
(Post by @corybe)