Hourly News – Direct access to top-of-the-hour news feeds & reports

Hourly News – Direct access to top-of-the-hour news feeds & reports

Download Hourly News (99¢)

Today’s app is Hourly News, which you can surmise from the title that it provides news updates on the hour.

Hourly News is from developer Urban Apps; it costs 99¢; it’s a universal app for both the iPad and iPhone; and requires iOS 6.0.

I have fond memories riding in the car with my Dad, listening to the radio and I had to be quiet every hour, at the top of the hour, so we could hear the 5 minutes of the latest headlines. No one today has time to plan their day around the radio, although I still like to hear the headlines.

Hourly News is basically a specialized podcast app, aggregating the free, 5-minute headline reports from NPR, ABC, CBS, Fox, and our northern cousin CBC (that’s the Canadian Broadcast Network), and our friends across the pond at BBC. Other sources include ESPN, SRN, and Voice of America. The developer reports that some sources have been pulled (like Wall Street Journal) since they stopped offering free podcasts. You can add your own custom sources if you pay another 99¢ in-app purchase.

All sources are only available in English. You can add and remove sources from the settings screen. Your sources will play in this order, or you can tap and drag them to customize the order. You can also swipe back and forth to select the source you want to listen to.

Each source tells you when it was last updated right on the front screen so you know if it’s stale news.

Hourly News has a nice big HUGE button in the middle of the screen to play and pause.

Hourly News will play in the background, which means you can click the Home button and do other activities while it’s playing. You can also control the playback in the Control Center.

Hourly News does “require an active Internet connection to work” – 4G, LTE, or Wi-Fi. You’ll get error messages if you’re not connected.

Hourly News can sync your settings and selected sources over iCloud between your iPad and iPhone (and Mac!) so your listening experience is the same across devices.

There are no ads in Hourly News, but some of the news feeds will have an ad or two that they run during playback.

The only downside is that the app hasn’t been updated since March 20, 2014. I reached out to the developer to ensure they’re still supporting the app but did not receive a reply … that’s disturbing.

If you read the recent reviews, you’ll see some users experience a dropout of certain news feeds. I’ve seen a couple of those but they’re mostly due to a bad connection.

I haven’t had any major problems with Hourly News, and mainly appreciate the simplicity of having the updated news feeds available when I need them to keep up on the day’s news.

Download Hourly News (99¢)