Yesterday, Microsoft Garage released News Pro, a news reader app for iOS and the web. The app is seemingly similar to others like Flipboard. You can login with your social media account, either Facebook or LinkedIn, and then you choose from a number of topics pre-loaded based on your social media profile. You can also suggest topics, and News Pro will curate a feed for you with all the latest news.
But News Pro is trying to fill a specific need that other news apps don’t easily meet. News Pro wants to be your daily brief for all the news related to the industry you work in. Regardless if you work in a small industry with a niche product, News Pro aims to deliver personalized insightful news on everything you need to know about your company, the market you are in, and what the competition is up to.
— News Pro (@NewsPro_App) January 11, 2016
The principal dev manager in charge News Pro, Yumao Lu, spoke more about the app in a Firehouse blog today, saying:
“While we can easily locate top headlines that keep us in the know with trending events, it’s harder to search for insightful news under the hood about my company, its competitors, and their products that may not be interesting to the general public but significant to me and a handful of people. Users might be able to find general news, but if they’re coming from a small company or some segment that is more niche, they may have a hard time locating information they need.”
Lu goes on to say that they developed the app to meet this need and fill a gap in traditional search methods for finding news from smaller publishers who are covering narrow topics. To accomplish this, Lu and his team had to tweak the way Bing news works in order to find relevant, interesting, and fresh articles according to user interests; even if the interests are narrow in scope. Lu says they were able to achieve this by “lots of refactoring, improved the ranking logic and leveraged different types of storage to get the search results you see now in the highlights page.”
So if you have trouble finding news related to your industry, check out News Pro in the iOS App Store. If you don’t have an iOS device, you can still access the site on the web here.