St. Lucia News Online focused on several key criteria that are lacking in many news apps from large international news brands:
- Speed – Most of these applications are slow and require a high end smartphone to function properly.
- Complicated – The most capable news apps available from major brands pack as much feature and options as possible into their app. This packing creates a dreaded series of settings that are often so complicated no one bothers to use them. This means that the optimizations that can make the app ideal for an individual often does not get used.
- Resource hog – Most apps make up for a lack of features by throwing the literal kitchen sink at you – massive images and hidden markups that drain your data plan.
To fix point no. 1 SNO Mobile was designed from the ground up to be for speed, this means that unlike 95% of all news apps out there SNO Mobile was written completely from scratch in native android code. For non techies this mean that unlike almost all other news apps which are basically web pages adopted to look like a mobile app, SNO Mobile was built using everything that android offers and nothing else. This allows the app to be much smoother on older phones and less of a resource hog.
SNO Mobile lacks the typical “settings” that most developers throws into apps without thinking. The reason for this is because over 80% of us will never use this function, it is useless and serves only to complicate things for users who simply wants to read their news and get on with their lives. SNO Mobile instead combines tried and tested features that news readers want to see; a list of news items set in a similar way as the website is combined with images and information on each news items. The only “settings” option you will find on SNO Mobile is a one click option to change the font size.
SNO Mobile also includes what is referred to as “Smart Caching” which essentially allows you to read your latest headlines without the need for an internet connection. Smart Caching works by automatically saving articles that it thinks you will like based on your interaction with the app. The saving is done on the opening of the app and at this stage, once you keep the app open, all your news stories will be available even without an internet connection.
Overall, the app itself is a revolutionary product for readers in St. Lucia and the diaspora as it allows persons on the go to access the news quickly and efficiently without fiddling about with a mobile adapted version of the news site.
SNO Mobile can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on your mobile or you can transfer the app by download it from here. The application is free. Feel free to rate the app and leave a comment upon download.