The makers of TweetCaster and FriendCaster, OneLouder Apps, have the #1 news app on the Android Market. ChannelCaster is a unique news aggregator that allows building of custom news channels from sources like the web, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and RSS. You can make your channels private or share them with friends and the world. Also you can access your Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader feeds as well.
The ChannelCaster home screen has three tabs to choose from which include Browse, Favorites, and Build. In the Browse section you can view categories like sports, news, entertainment and more. Within each category there are subcategoies that have Tier 1, Public, and Private channels. Tier 1 are ChannelCaster staff recommended while public channels are created by other users. Any channel that you have created will be displayed in the Private tab. The Favorites section will probably be where you spend most of your time when you have bookmarked the channel that you like. Once you pick a channel the layout is in tiles very similar to the new Android Market. There might be an adjustment period since this format is different than any other news app. Things tend to jump out at you being displayed in big tiles and that is the point of this style. This works great for articles with pictures or videos but underwhelming for Twitter feeds or plain text. But overall the style is visually appealing on a tablet.
The real fun and unique part of this app is building your own custom channels for yourself or to share. The process is not difficult but might take some trial and error to fine tune. First name your channel, then add sources from the pre-defined categories or others like web, Twitter, YouTube and more. For example, you can pick the tech category but also add Twitter feeds that mention HTC and YouTube videos on Galaxy Nexus. There are a lot of possibilities, allowing you to make exactly the type of news feed that you want. What takes some fine tuning is that you want to avoid very general terms like Android and be more specific. Another aspect that makes this app unique is that you can mix completely different categories like tech and entertainment or other combinations in a single channel and get all the type of news that you want. Being able to mix and mash categories and sources really makes the app flexible and absolutely one of a kind.
This style of news aggregator is clearly forward thinking as social sites continue to play a larger role in news. More and more these days we are getting our news from Twitter and other social sites. ChannelCaster is one of the early apps to integrate news and social but no doubt it’s only the beginning. So have fun mashing, mixing and sharing your custom news feeds on ChannelCaster.