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Be Aware: Mobile News Aggregator for The Altai Territory

The Altai Territory, Enterra’s homeland, is not just the breadbasket of Siberia, but also a rich source of different news, which abound here as fine as grains. But due to the rapid pace of life today you can’t catch all of them, unfortunately. That’s why we have developed a special news aggregator for Altai. We hope that it will become a real Aladdin’s lamp for those who are always busy but want to be kept up-to-date of the latest news.

The Altai news (Altaskie novosti) is a news aggregator for the most famous news resources of Altai:

The Customer

In 2015 the local administration of the Altai Territory has asked us to redesign and to update for them a previously created mobile app: a news aggregator to inform people and to form a news picture of the day.

We considered this mission to be achievable and took up this important and responsible order with zeal.

The Task

We had to develop an application that allows to view current news from selected sources: the top and most quoted Altai media.

Basic requirements for the application:

  • The aggregator should automatically collect news from information resources and place them in its own news feed. News is easy to scroll, open and read.
  • If necessary, you can go to the full version of the material on the source site.
  • News can be shared in the social media.

The Development

The app was developed for Android and iPhone platforms.

The application is integrated:

  • With the sites of news resources.
    Later the site of the regional news channel Katun24 was added to the listed above.
  • With the social media.
    The application is connected with such popular social medias as Facebook and VK. Due to this you can share the most interesting and exciting news with your friends without leaving the application.
  • With Gismeteo.
    We wanted the application to be as useful as possible, that’s why we decided to integrate it with Gismeteo and created the Weather section. The forecast of Gismeteo is considered to be the one of the most precise and convenient.
    The site provides information about weather every three hours during the day in almost 13 thousand settlements of Russia, and on some points, it provides info every hour.

It was an integration trough API.

Later we added several more features: the Favorites section, the possibility to marked the news that was read, and the option to adjust the text size to the screen size.

The Working Principle

At the first sight, the application is standard, it includes the news feed and the menu. Everything is simple, but at the same time, the aggregator has some unexpected pleasant features.

News text settings

We have paid attention to such minor things, not so important at first sight. The text size of the news can be customized on your own. Someone likes the fine print, someone likes the large one.

You can perform the following operations with the text:

  • Change the display mode (day/night).
  • Change the font size using the slider or volume keys.
  • Add to Favorites.
  • Share to the social media.

Read it later

In addition to the possibility to share the news, the user can also save them locally on the phone to read later. Even without the access to the Internet.

News search

It is very easy to find the specific news story in the application. When you enter the query, the search is performed for all the cached news on the device. The size of the cache depends on the device settings.

Also, the built-in calendar helps to find the news for a certain date; just click on the month and the day in the calendar.

News filtering

All news are sorted by the territory: Barnaul News, Biysk News, Regional News, Russia News, World News, All News.

The filter processes the keywords in the news. For example, if the word Barnaul is found in the text, this story is marked as the news about Barnaul.

News are filtered not only by sources, but also by the tone. The special censorship mode allows you to block the news with stop words such as “murder”, “incident”, “crime”, “corpses” and so on and so forth. This regime will help you to receive only the positive news and keep your nerves in order.

Weather

The special section automatically shows the weather for the current date. The weather forecast is also available for a week.

The weather for today is displayed as the first news story when the application is launched. So, with the application, you will always know, what is going on outside – rain, snow or sun.

The Design

By default, the news are displayed as large photos with headings. If there is no photo, the news story looks like a text box.

The news feed is displayed as a list or as a set of tiles. The user can choose how should the news feed look like. Especially for this purpose the application has a quick switch between the possible layouts.

The color scheme of the aggregator alludes that it was made in Altai, in the agrarian region. The saturated dark green and wooden colors predominate. It is a direct association with nature.

The application icon deserves a special remark. On the same wooden cozy background, you can see a map of the Altai Territory, styled as a newspaper, and a cup of coffee.

Once upon a time many people began the day like this, reading the morning news in the newspaper, with hot coffee. However, the paper press most probably will soon go into oblivion, being increasingly replaced by the social networks and smartphones.

It is this “online newspaper” with which you will begin your day, our application Altai news should become.

As a result, we have bright, handy and easy-to-use application that you can use on the way to work and learn about all important events at once.

Available on Google Play and App Store.

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