The Squid news app intends to be the go-to source for millennials when it comes to all sorts of news. What is this free app capable of? How can you download it on your iPhone or Android smartphone, and is Squid something only for millennials? Find out the answers to these questions in our quick review.
If you were wondering just what or who millennials are: People who were born between the early 1980s and the late 90s belong to this generation. They were exposed to the Internet at an early age, and therefore have an affinity for new media (although this is no longer considered so). Swedish company Njuice is behind the Squid news app, and they want to become the main source of news for millennials.
Functions and benefits of Squid
Squid intends to offer a digital daily newspaper format for its users. You get a personalized and interest-based newsfeed, which comprises images and their corresponding headlines from various news sources. Squid users are able to select from around 100 categories, which in turn draw their content from thousands of different sources.
However, these sources are not all local, but from various places all over the world. What you see, however, should be more than enough - at least for me. My feed comprises sources from technology, economy, and science categories, offering a varied selection and is intuitive enough to lead you to browse right from the moment the app is launched. A more modern take on the classic RSS feed that we old-timers rely on, perhaps?
Too bad you can't follow NextPit this way
What stood out for me as a sore point right from the start was this: I cannot set my favorite sources. However, it does the exact opposite, allowing me to block news sources permanently. This is a nice enhancement to have since there are some news sources that almost feel like spam in my feed.
Probably these sources were cited a lot, hence the algorithm pushing them to the top of the pile. This also means that sites I like to follow but are not within the radar coverage of mainstream news channels face a very real and present danger of getting lost in the shuffle.
Big pictures. Short headlines. No ads if you wish
The Squid feed consists of the lead images of the articles, the headline and a short excerpt, the main source, and which category the story belongs to.
By clicking on the image, the article of the original source will launch an integrated browser from the app itself. In order to maximize your viewing experience with squid, you will require to accept all cookies and enable the necessary privacy notices, in addition to images contained within the article and advertising. Commenting is also possible for that added layer of interaction.
Clicking on the tab icon that is located right above the lead image, you can switch to your reader, which displays the article in its Squid layout sans advertising. However, all the other functions that can be performed on a website are no longer available. For website operators like us, this is not optimal, as it would mean we will lose a source of revenue.
Save articles today and read tomorrow
Not earning any money for NextPit is not a good idea at all! So feel free to read in regular mode. After all, we have to earn an honest living. In return, I'll tell you about my favorite feature! You can save articles by clicking on the bookmark icon that is located at the bottom of the article browser.
If you want to read these bookmarked articles later, just click on the main menu, and you can go through the list of bookmarks. I now use this to quickly skim through my feed and bookmark anything that caught my attention. If I have time, I will read the articles later.
There's another thing that really bugged me...
Unfortunately, there are also many media sources that have a paywall. As online publishers, we have the utmost understanding for the existence of payment barriers, of course.
However, such restrictions do not show up on Squid's feed. If the headline caught my attention and I want to read it, it is a major disappointment to be greeted by a paywall after selecting it.
Unfortunately, this problem is not all that rare - and therefore the disappointment is oftentimes great. A little tip: I have started to block such sources so that I do not become the architect of my disappointment.
Easy and engaging user interface
What I really like about Squid is the fact that it invites you to browse, but without overloading the app with fluff such as unnecessary graphical effects or irrelevant functions. It's all about finding and consuming interesting information quickly - and the app does a great job in that department.
Do you have to be a millennial or a member of Generation Z to use Squid or find it cool? No, not really.
Squid is probably not suitable for...
- People who always visit the same news sources.
- People who are active on a site and like to remain logged in.
- Everyone who wants to move quickly to the next page while browsing and reading quickly - the consent requests for data protection are unfortunately a recurring irritation.
Squid should suit...
- People who like to browse and don't care which source they visit.
- People who like to have an overview of different news about one (or more) topics of their choice.
- Everyone who comes across interesting things again and again and wants to bookmark them.