Here is what is wrong with the new Microsoft News app

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2018

Microsoft launched an updated news application called Microsoft News for Google Android and Apple iOS devices today.

The company revealed that it has "completed redesigned" the application "into a modern and beautiful experience". The update introduces a dark theme, options to configure breaking news alerts, new personalization options, and a new continued reading experience.

Existing users should receive an update in the coming days or weeks while new users can download and install the applications from the official store.

When you launch Microsoft News for the first time after installation you are walked through a series of customization screens. You may sign in to a Microsoft Account to sync settings between devices (but can skip that, good), and may pick interests from a large number of generic topics such as celebrity news, soccer, technology, or politics.

Once you are done, you are taken to the main interface where the first set of news articles is displayed to you.

Some things have definitely improved; headline text is now larger which is a good thing obviously, and if you prefer dark interfaces, you may switch to the dark theme in the settings to do so.

The first issue that you may run into is that you may not get news in your language depending on where you are located in the World. A tap on the location button and the selection of "detect my location" or "search location" did not work for me as Microsoft News came up with zero content based on the location.

You can switch to a different localized version of Microsoft News, however. Tap on the settings icon, then on edition on the page that opens and pick a location from the available ones. Picking Germany, for example, switched the interface to the German edition.

You get the usual assortment of articles from integrated newspapers and news organizations only in Microsoft News. Microsoft News lacks options to customize news sources or filter sources. If you don't want news from a certain news source you are out of luck as you cannot block any using the application.

Another issue that is apparent right away is that advertisement looks exactly like regular news pieces. The only difference is that Microsoft News displays a sponsored tag next to the advertisement's image to indicate that it is sponsored.

Depending on where you live, you may also notice a huge increase in clickbait in all news sections. Clickbait would not be that bad if you could block certain news sources but since there is no option to do that, you can only ignore it. There is also no option to select "show more" or "show less" which would be quite the useful option as well.

The interface uses a somewhat strange design for news articles. Microsoft News displays articles in different formats; small and big, vertically or horizontally stretched, with and without images. It is quite difficult to go through the list of news quickly because of that layout. I wish the app had an option to display only news titles in a list format but that is missing.

The number of articles per page has decreased. Microsoft News displays three or four articles per page without scrolling only, a reduction from the six or so articles that the old version displayed.

Many of the issues described in the article are not unique to Microsoft News. Google launched a Google News update recently and it did not sit well with users as well.

Now You: Do you use a news application or service? Any that provides just headlines and offers customization options?

Here is what is wrong with the new Microsoft News app
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Here is what is wrong with the new Microsoft News app
Microsoft launched an updated news application called Microsoft News for Google Android and Apple iOS devices today.
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  1. Jean Davis said on May 23, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Why would Microsoft News put articles from Washington Examiner on the newsfeed? I work hard to read as much as possible on each issue to insure I get a well rounded view, but every article I have read from this publication has had false or extremely misleading information in it. I expect Microsoft News to produce newsfeed that can be somewhat trusted. This makes me want to change my homepage. If this continues, it is my intent to make that change.

  2. no chains nor choo choo trains said on June 24, 2018 at 9:43 am

    @Radhe said on June 23, 2018 at 11:36 am

    “Don’t you have manners? Their services are very good. Hate monger.”

    Don’t YOU have manners?

    IMO proprietary software is not free. It is a black box. It is an unknown, and to recommend proprietary software to ANYONE is offering slavery.

  3. pHROZEN gHOST said on June 22, 2018 at 12:40 am

    MS controlled news?

    No thanks.

    Alexa, live my life for me.

  4. piterek said on June 21, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Upday for Samsung – important, quick notifications, but without the ad blocker it’s hard to use it. And there is no night mode.

  5. basicuser said on June 21, 2018 at 12:48 am

    No thanks.

    The problem with with relying on any of the mainstream internet news feeds is that you miss 90% of what’s going on in in the world. They’re not much better than mainstream news on television.

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 21, 2018 at 1:00 am

      Exactly. Like precooked supermarket bread. Go to your baker and get genuine.

  6. C said on June 21, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Microsoft is so bad. Everything they do is half assed, in need of a redisgn and a poor cousin of existing services. It is so bad, everything. Only their OS is half decent. Every single cloud service of theirs is a complete mess and I use them sometimes thinking, why they hell aren’t more people complaining about just how amateur this company is at doing these sorts of things?

    1. Radhe said on June 23, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Don’t you have manners? Their services are very good. Hate monger.

  7. Ian said on June 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    I use for news.

    The problem using established newspapers etc. is that what they offer is usually predictable. My idea is to read news from all kinds of different sources and learn about things that I would not otherwise have discovered. Also it can be customised to some extent. It’s UK based but covers all kinds of other world news and one can search by keyword.

    How news sources like this will fare under the draconian new EU laws remains to be seen.

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 21, 2018 at 12:48 am

      Yes, I’m as well fond of with its numerous sources and topics.
      I don’t see how such a site may fear anything from EU’s GDPR nor of its more elaborated plans : it’s no problem for sites that do not collect non consented user data or put users’ consent as a condition to open their pages, such as the Washington Post which I won’t read anymore on the Web as well as any site which dares require my consent for being persecuted in order to read their pages (which is by the way forbidden by the GDPR) : if that’s the worst of the GDPR way of life then bravo, and shame on sites which correlate news to slavery.

  8. Anonymous said on June 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Mr. Bill Gates had already done some much for my well-being, I’m glad he’s now going to be my main news provider !

  9. VioletMoon said on June 20, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Wow! We’ve actually come to a time in Internet usage that users are incapable of finding news stories on their own. Sad state of affairs. It’s like a communist state wherein the masses are brainwashed into thinking some State Agency [MS, Google] is the sole determiner of what “news” will be read. I prefer the breadth of Aljazeera coverage, but if one really thinks MS or Google News is better, then so be it.

    1. Paul(us) said on June 20, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Please VilotMoon, I really would like that keep the comments technical over here because the last 60 years I always noticed that when people starting to talk/wright political options, it’s getting ferry quickly nasty.
      So please do not forget its not the political streaming it’s the people who are waving the flag for your nose for there one gain. So I am not going even comments on your thoughts.

    2. Anonymous said on June 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Yes Microsoft and Google are communists who hate people motivated only by profit. Like you I understand everything in politics.

  10. Ross Presser said on June 20, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    “Another issue that is apparent right away is that advertisement looks exactly like regular news pieces. ”

    While this is annoying to the user, it is definitely something Microsoft WANTED in their application. Don’t expect it to be changed, ever.

  11. ilev said on June 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    What is the level of telemetry/users privacy harvesting on Android devices (impossible on iOS) with this app ?

  12. George P. Burdell said on June 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    For headlines I like

    You can select a country, which seems to come up with a corresponding language.

    You can put one or more of the section ID’s in the URL to get showbiz, sports, finance, etc.

    A quick and well done display.

  13. JV said on June 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Short answer: No

  14. Henk van Setten said on June 20, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    I never understood the point of apps like this. Why would you let some anonymous Microsoft or Google algorithms, based on some dubious and wholly unclear semi-commercial criteria, pre-select and pre-filter your news, instead of going directly to reliable news sources selected by yourself?

    Just bookmark between 5-10 good and specialized news sources, from different sides and perspectives and countries if you like. Of course, there you’ll also encounter some news selection: but in this case not by some creepy algorithms, but instead selected and written by dedicated and professional and involved journalists.

    Such reliable sources are not that difficult to find. There are still enough true quality news websites that by principle do NOT hide their news and commentaries behind a paywall, but keep their content freely accessible for all. As an example, see the site of the excellent British daily newspaper The Guardian.

    Really, we just don’t need this kind of potentially dangerous news interference from companies such as Microsoft, Google, or (in a perhaps even more disastrous way) Facebook. If you choose their apps as your main news source, then you are strangling your own freedom of information rights with your own hands!

    1. Anonymous said on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Most people just want convenience. There’re many people who only read news on Facebook for example. That’s why hoax news can get distributed easily.

      Protip: Bookmarking and opening sites one by one everyday are really cumbersome. People won’t do that, I won’t do that. Use RSS reder to gather your news in one place.

      1. Dave said on June 21, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        I use protopage for this.
        I can fit 12 feeds with 6 lines each viewed at 120% zoom level on my 24″ monitor. That’s just one tab, if you need more you can make multiple tabs.
        It’s free with a single ad bar at the top (which is always blank for me as ABP keeps it that way)
        Con: You have to go subscription if you want to use https instead of http.

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