WatchUp – Taking over the Newscast

It’s no secret that the way we absorb news is changing. Most people don’t have the time or inclination to sit and watch a complete newscast, let alone read a newspaper.

But we don’t want to be completely out of the loop when it comes to local and global events. Naturally, the Internet is filling this void, and the wonderful world of apps has given us WatchUp (now launching 2.0).

The original idea behind the app (available on tablets only) was to bring together lots of digital news from various outlets and make all the videos available in one place. It’s lots of news in one app: a new version of the nightly news.

The app has you create a username and password (or you can sign in via Facebook), then you can pick what kinds news you would like to receive: local, world, Spanish, tech news, sports, etc. Next, you pick the time you’d like your newscast to update, and the app loads videos based on your specifications.

In today’s world, we want all the control, and this apps delivers. It gets tons of points for being customizable. The top panel of the app pulls down, and showcases topics and channels to browse through. Swiping the right panel will open up related news articles.

It’s works because the app searches for the data in the articles and then conducts a Bing search to find the articles that contain them.

Although the app developers are open to adding extra features, they want the core to remain the videos. This is essentially the replacement of the traditional newscast, so it’s not meant to be read.

You can throw it on while you’re cooking dinner or cleaning the house, or just decompressing after work. The videos automatically go to full screen on the tablet and then reduce back to inset when tapped.

There’s a small blurb under the video that describes what’s in it, and a timeline with thumbnails across the top. You can also search by stories that are relevant to you, like military news, news for your industry, or keeping track of local politics.

The drop-down panel allows users to search by channel or show (ABC, CNN, The Daily Show, the Onion, etc.), but the video continues to play while you’re deciding on which channel to jump to. It’s also easy to share the videos via Facebook or Twitter.

More and more studies are showing that people these days are spending a greater amount of their time online than watching TV. Many aren’t even paying for cable connection anymore, so the news has to keep up with the times and WatchUp has done that perfectly.

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Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.