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Best news apps for iPhone

There's a wide range of creative, convenient ways of digesting your daily news on your iPhone, in the shape of dedicated apps -- here are five of our faves.

For those who like to keep their finger on the throbbing pulse of the planet at all times, your iPhone can be a powerful ally, plugging you into a non-stop news pipe of current affairs, sport, celebrity gossip and more.

You could, of course, just fire up Safari and open a boring old website, but where's the fun in that? There's a wide range of creative, convenient ways of digesting your daily news in the shape of dedicated apps whose sole purpose is to keep you abreast of the latest headlines whenever and wherever you are. Here are five of our favourites -- let us know if we've missed any you find particularly useful.

BBC News

A predictable choice, yes, but it's free, unbiased and covers just about every topic you might possibly need to read about. It's also very fast and contains plenty of clips from the BBC's TV news, including a direct link to live broadcasts.

It's easy to use too -- just swipe to see more headlines in any given topic and tap to read more. The interface is customisable, so you can prioritise headlines on a particular topic or from a particular part of the country. If you also have an iPad, the BBC News app will work on both platforms, adding some cool tablet-specific formatting for the larger-screen device.
Rating: 4
Download from iTunes: Free

Reeder

Rather than trawling different apps and websites to get your fix of the latest news updates, using a service like Google Reader lets you view headlines from a whole load of different sites and services from one place. There's no official Google Reader app available currently, but Reeder is the next best thing.

You'll need a Google account; once you have one, head to google.com/reader and add some websites, then fire up Reeder on your phone et voila -- all the news you want right on your handset wherever you are. You can browse full stories within Reeder and send items via Twitter, Instapaper, Delicious and more. There are a few free alternatives, but we like Reeder's minimalist stylings and ad-freeness.
Rating: 4
Download from iTunes: £1.79

The Daily Mash

If you're fed up with reading about all the doom and gloom in the news, try The Daily Mash, which disguises all the misery in the world by putting a satirical spin on current affairs. At the time of writing, sample headlines include, '"Can't you all just settled this over a nice plate of dog?" World asks Korea' and 'Unmanned WikiLeaks drone destroys Afghan village'.

As you can tell, the humour errs on the dark side and won't be to everyone's tastes. And, if you don't fancy coughing up 179 of your hard-earned pennies for the app itself, there's always the option of heading straight to the Daily Mash website, which is free but littered with ads.
Rating: 3.5
Download from iTunes: £1.79

Fluent News Reader

Fluent News Reader is very nearly an excellent news app. The idea is that you can create your own personalised newspaper that combines all the latest stories from your chosen sources. On top of that, it apes the sections of a real newspaper (sport, weather, entertainment, business and so on). You can also save articles to read later and connect the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and share to them from directly within an article you're reading.

The trouble is that the free version won't let you fully customise its filtering system, which means your headlines tend to be overwhelmed by US content. You can pay to filter out unwanted content, but this costs £5.99 a year.
Rating: 3
Download from iTunes: Free

Winner: Instapaper

If you don't already own Instapaper then we're fairly confident that you will shortly after reading this. It's a simple but incredibly useful app that allows you to save entire chunks of the Web to read offline at your leisure. Say you come across a really interesting news piece, but you don't have time to read it at that precise moment. All you need to do is tap the 'read later' bookmark and the piece will be stored and formatted for your phone. There's a slightly clumsy set-up procedure, but other than that it works a treat. The free edition gives a good taste of what the full version does. For native iPad support, however, you'll need to pay.
Rating: 4.5
Download from iTunes: £2.99 (free version available)