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Yahoo for Android review: Elegant news feed with a personal touch

The latest version of the Yahoo app is great for browsing the latest news using either headlines or a visual layout. Personalization features let you connect your Facebook account and get stories that match your interests.

Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jaymar Cabebe Former Associate Editor
Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.
Jason Parker
Jaymar Cabebe
3 min read

Editors' note: As this app is essentially the same as Yahoo for iOS, this review mostly duplicates our review of the iOS version.


Yahoo for Android

The Good

The latest version of the <b>Yahoo</b> app for Android gives options for viewing just headlines or visual news. Full-screen images with text overlays look great while you browse.

The Bad

You can only get a personalized news feed by connecting your Facebook account. No landscape mode.

The Bottom Line

More than just a news app, Yahoo stands out for its customization and search tools.

The Yahoo app is focused on the latest headlines, bringing more personalization to your news feed, quick summaries for easy reading, and good-looking article pages with photo backdrops. The Android version and the iOS version sport the same attractive interface.

This is not the app you're going to use to check your e-mail or access most of the other services that Yahoo provides, but what the app does well is bring you the latest news in an intuitive layout.

You have the option to view headlines in a clean list if that is your preference, but the app also features a visual view of the news. The clean list is great for quickly scanning headlines, and you can pull down the list to refresh. By hitting the menu button in the upper left, you can flip a switch to turn the visual news feature on. The results reminded me immediately of the full-screen images in the Google+ app feed, but Yahoo places both the headline and a brief summary of the story over the lead image. The brief summaries are made by Summly, a company Yahoo acquired in March (read more about Summly here).

The app uses parallax scrolling to make the headlines scroll slightly faster than the background image to give the news feed a feeling of depth. It may sound distracting, but Yahoo has done a good job of making the summaries stand out against the photo backdrops, giving it a certain elegance while you swipe through the headlines. One thing worth mentioning is that the app doesn't work in landscape mode.

Visual news lets you read stories in style (pictures)

See all photos

Aesthetics aside, the Yahoo app also ties social-networking services into your news browsing for personalization and sharing, but there is a slight issue. Under the menu button in the upper left, you have a button for Topic Preferences, which takes you to a page where you can connect with Facebook to have the app include more stories that follow your interests. While this process is simple enough, it seems strange that you need to connect your Facebook account in order to add topics and get a personalized news feed in the Yahoo app.

Even without the connection, if you want to share a story with a friend, you can do so using the Share button. This pulls up Android's standard share menu, which lets you share items with other installed applications, like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, without making the connection, the Yahoo app itself will remember the stories you read and automatically try to deliver news that matches your interests.

The app has one more powerful tool that will be handy as well. From the slide-out menu, you have the option to use Yahoo's search engine. Just as in any Web search, you can enter keywords and get a huge list of results. Across the bottom of the interface, you have buttons for Web, images, or video, and each loaded extremely fast in our testing. While it seems like the app's focus is more on news, having Yahoo Web search is a powerful and useful feature on its own.

Overall, we think the Yahoo app offers an elegant way to browse the headlines, with options for both quick scanning and a visual news style.


Yahoo for Android

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Interface 9Performance 8