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Longform

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The iPad has become a fantastic way to read, whether it’s in bed, on the sofa or while you are commuting. Yet, with articles all over the place, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find the best ones. This is where Longform steps in, providing it’s own feed of curated content, or the best content from selected third party services. It’s almost like taking a magazine, and removing all of the bad articles and advertising.

Without a doubt, the most important thing about a reading app is that it delivers content that is worth reading. Currently providing content from more than 25 websites, the articles that it provides are varied, and there is something for everyone. In other apps, I’ve had a problem because the feeds are always full of articles that aren’t worth reading. In this, I haven’t found that, as it really has only provided the things that are worth reading. Each one is informative, interesting and usually something that I would recommend to others. It aims to make great, meaningful articles easy to find, without having to search for hours, and it certainly delivers that.

One of the best things about the app is that it downloads all of the articles for offline viewing. With this, you can then read all of the articles wherever you are, which is great for commutes. At the same time, you can also share the articles with services such as Instapaper or Readability. I love the reading mode, which just leaves the texts, making it a brilliant way to read. Anybody will be able to use this app. It’s easy to find something to read, and it doesn’t take long to set it up.

While the price is certainly expensive for App Store standards, it’s not expensive compared to similar, high quality apps. It’s only just launched, so it would be unfair to judge it based on what it is now, as it will grow. However, at the moment, it is quite expensive as there are very little sources, but as this grows, and as the app improves, it will become fantastic value for money.  I can see it soon becoming my main place to check for articles once they begin to add more sources, as the existing system they have in place, picking great articles, works really well.

The main negatives in the app come from the lack of content, with not many third party websites onboard. It would be great to see places like FORTUNE or The Economist in the app, but in it’s current state, the service lacks a lot of the places that other apps have. This means that for a lot of people, they will still probably use another app at the same time. With more sources however, this would replace every other app, as it’s much better than the rest, especially in terms of UI and design. Apart from that, there isn’t that many negatives that need to be addressed. Content can always be added, so it’s nice to see that they have to core concept and app sorted.

Overall, it’s a fantastic concept and it’s going to great to see it blossom. It’s currently lacking content, but when more websites are added, I can see myself reading in the app for hours.

Rating: 4/5

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/longform/id490437064

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