Being an avid consumer of all things tech (reading wise), I was very interested when I stumbled upon Appy Geek in Google Play. I check iTunes and sure enough there is an iPhone version called Appy Geek – tech news. No matter which platform (iOS or Android OS), this free Tech news app has some very cool features — but lacks some of the best Tech News sources, does not allow for custom content to be added, and has a ridiculous subscription model for Android users.
I found this app today in Google Play in the featured section and snapped it up because I dig tech news and I have an app problem (I should seek some counseling for). I immediately wanted to love this app because of the name and user interface. When you open the app you are greeted with mini image icons for each of the categories, all of which are customizable based on your preferences. It is kind of like a vertical Pulse News app. Tap on any icon and you quickly enter into a large amount of content that is very easy to read, has a super-cool 3D globe (mind-mapping-feel) keyword feature and plenty of other excellent features.
The first sign the app was not going to be my go to “tech news” app was the limited number of content providers, many of whom I have never heard of. Having run this website and being an avid junkie of tech news, sites missing were: Boy Genius Report, Life Hacker, Digital Trends, Gizmodo (which is said to be in the app but is not), CNET, TUAW, MacLife, 9to5 Mac, Cult of Mac, Phandroid, Android Central, Android Atlas, and the list goes on. There are some recognizable content providers, like one of my favorites — Business Insider, but overall, not the hearty helping of tech news I was hoping for. And, one feature that is seriously missing from this application is the ability to add your own feeds.
I realize they do not want to compete or be Pulse News, but there are plenty of “news reader” apps that offer the option to add your own preferred content provider feeds. This is a major feature lacking in this app, which is compounded when you don’t find many of the major tech news resources I count on each day to keep me in the “tech know.” Another really bad feature is directed at Android users (only for this app), which is a very nefarious subscription model. The iPhone/iPad (iOS Universal) app is free with ads and no option to purchase to remove the ads. The Android version has a “Premium Offer” opportunity Android folks can find in the settings, and for the low price of — $3.80 monthly you can remove the ads. Worse yet, the subscription model is reoccurring once you pay the first time in Google Play. First of all, I did not find any content in this app that is worthy of a $4 a month charge.
In fact, a blog post from Talk Android titled How to use the iPhone 5 to get a Free Nexus 4 on contract was absolutely one of the worst articles I have ever read. The article explains phone subsidy pricing, which is cool, but the hook for this genius idea for the title of this post is to buy an iPhone 5 at subsidy pricing (agreeing to a 2 year contract) then sell it to a friend on Ebay or Craigslist. You recoup the extra cash, maybe $400 to $600 and then go get yourself a Nexus 4. The problem is the phone may be gone, but the contract is still there and there was no remedy for this. Having never heard of Talk Android before I am not a fan of Rudy Rivapalacio who wrote the article or the moderator who half-heartedly defended my comment with a follow up.
Appy Geek has a great user interface, but needs more — and I want this app to have more. Maybe MobilesRepublic is going to be adding more content providers in the future and even the possibility to add your own content, which would be fantastic. But one thing MobilesRepublic needs to scrap or make more reasonable is the horrid subscription pricing they have for Android users in Appy Geek. Android users, you have been warned if you sign up and forget after a years’ time, you will have paid $45.60 for the content in this app — which can easily be displayed in the Pulse News app for the iPhone, iPad, and Android OS. Want to see this app in action? Watch our Appy Geek – tech news iPhone and Android App Video Review for a look at this mediocre news application.
Appy Geek Android App Download Link