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Amidst a hectic day, you may only have spare moments to catch up on the latest world headlines and developments. Rather than serve as another gateway to point you towards lengthy web stories, Circa News does the heavy lifting for you, scouring through various news sources' pieces to deliver brief and carefully curated summaries that share only the essential bits.
Scrolling through the main listing, you'll find an array of recent stories – spanning hard news, politics, business, and more – and clicking each brings up a colorful intro image with a one-line teaser of what's ahead. Swiping upward delivers the next screen, showing a pin on a map with the story's date, along with the first couple sentences of the story. From there, you'll find a few more pages, each with only a small amount of text, along with the occasional image and pulled quote.
Circa News gets right to the point with its summaries, but doesn't botch the details. Source links can be shown (and followed) with a tap of a button, and while concise, there's enough meat here to get a strong feel for each situation. Stories can also be followed, with the app notifying you of updates as they come, plus you can share summaries via social networks.
While slickly designed and carefully executed, my main qualm remains quantity – Circa's curated nature means there's a lot of news left on the table, and categories like tech, entertainment, and sports aren't well represented. It can't be a go-to option without a wider array of topics, but what's here is an impressive start.
The bottom line. Keeping up never seemed so easy, but Circa needs to plug its coverage holes.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later
Stellar news summaries hit the essential points, with source links handy if desired. Slick design and formatting. Can follow stories to receive updates.
Limited array of stories. Many news categories not well represented.