Tuko App Review

tuko-news-app-review

News Apps: TUKO.Co.Ke Android App Review

So, today, I am not reviewing any phone. Rather, I am highlighting one of the most amazing news reading apps in Kenya, TUKO.co.ke Android app. I do not know if you love it, or if you hate it. The thing is, well, this app works like no other local news reading app I have used before.

I am not saying that TUKO.co.ke post the best news. I am merely sharing the love I have for its intuitive news reading app.

This is where you land when you first open TUKO.co.ke app. However, to the right is how the news article looks like. A large image at the top, bold title, and then the story. You can also see the number of viewers for each story.

Speed/Performance Of The TUKO.Co.Ke Android App

I read a comment on the Google Play Store from a guy I wont mention the name, who complained that the TUKO.co.ke Android app keeps loading forever before displaying the news. Well, I figure his Internet connection was slow, or maybe it had something to do with the phone? Not sure.

Event though it is a week ago that I stumbled upon the app, I can say it is fast. So perhaps he was using a previous version that had a bug? I can’t tell. Either way, all I know is the app loads fast, and it is light, even though some animations could be better.

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TUKO.Co.Ke Android Apps News Update Frequency

The news posts are relatively long. I love Mpasho.co.ke.  But I guess TUKO.co.ke kind of beats them when it comes to the Android app. I will compare both Mpasho and TUKO side by side in a future post if anyone asks for it. But for now, I will only highlight the features of TUKO.co.ke.

The rate at which the news articles on the app keep coming is fantastic. I sometimes see more than four stories per hour. But this, I think, largely depends on how the frequently new events that can feature on the news happen.

The App Controls

When you first open the app, you land on the Latest news section. These are just headlines with a small featured image flush to the left. Swiping to the right while viewing the headlines lets you navigate through the categories, namely: Politics, Finance, Entertainment, Sport, Photo of the Day, Health and Wellness, Crime, and lastly Education.

Swipe right and left to move between categories.

To read the news posts on any of the categories, you just tap on the title or the featured image. After opening one post, you do not have to go back to the list to read the next or the previous story. You could do that, though, but there is a better alternative.

So as to enhance your experience a little, the app allows you to swipe on the featured image above the articles title, or the title itself, to navigate to the next and previous stories. If you have used the Google Newsstand before, you will be at home with this app.

TUKO.Co.Ke Android App Features

Opinion On The News

Opinions section is where you can express your feeling on a certain post. Now, after you have read a story, you can tap on a small drop-down menu that contains all those pre-set opinions. The drop down menu is populated with certain comments you’d otherwise use. The comments are Eiish!!, OMG, LOL, Amazing, So sad, and Boring.

Android News Reader App TUKO-co-ke4-The Opinions Section

Opinions are handy when you want to know which story is being viewed in what way by certain readers. It also encourages you to view stories that seem to bare a certain tag. I think actual comments would be great too.

When you choose any of those opinions, a toast message with ‘thanks for your opinion’ pops up. It is such a simple way to share your views on a particular story. You will also see what percentage of readers have voted for which opinion. Just know that you cannot vote twice for the same story.

The feature is used in the app to tag the news. The following screenshot explains this better.

The orange, or yellow? tags are a result of the majority votes on a story. If a story is marked amazing by majority of the readers, that story will bare the amazing tag and so on.

And you also see the number of viewers. The number goes beyond 30,000 for a 20hr old story. It is an indication of the number of readers this platform receives per day. If you translate that to a month, you will get roughly 700,000 – 1,000,000 readers per month. So you guys love this app, huh!

Sharing And Read Offline

Still on the features, there is a large red button on the bottom right. Tapping on it brings up a vast amount of sharing options for an individual piece you are reading. Just as from the screenshot, you can share the articles via WhatsApp, text messages, Bluetooth, Gmail, any other email, Facebook, Twitter, post on WordPress, browser, and so on.

TUKO.co.ke Android App News Reader- Sharing

Okay, this is where letting your friends join you by reading a certain article comes in. If you love a certain article, why not share it with your friends? It is simple and works. However, you can share the title only.

However, the shared piece will only be the title with a READ blah blah link.

The excellent feature TUKO.co.ke Android app boasts of is read offline. This means the app will auto-download the news articles when you are on Wi-Fi if the option is turned on. It is on by default. After disconnecting from the network, you will quickly go through the news offline. I do not know how long the news articles will live on your device before they are auto deleted, or if they ever get deleted since there is no direct button to remove downloaded news only.

Google Newsstand has this option, and it would be great if it were available here too. Since some people like me won’t live with this app if it happens to use too much memory to store junk.

Nevertheless, to help you manage memory use, there is a preview of the cache size, and you have the option to clean it. Not bad. But what happens when I want to choose which story lives in my device longer? I don’t know, yet.

TUKO.co.ke Android App for news-The effects of the theme changes on the app

To the right are the cache management links.

You can also bookmark an article for easy access.

That’s is all about the features.

The Menu And Settings

The menu is excellent. Am sure you are used to this kind of menus these days, Google loves it.

The Bookmarks link lives here, including the settings, the section to manage categories, and then the leave feedback link. Read offline is also in the main menu.

Android News Reader App TUKO-co-ke8-Bookmarks

When you add a bookmark, you can access it via the menu. Just select Bookmarks and you will find the list of all the articles you bookmarked. Handy when you want to go back to an interesting story later.

The settings menu contains an option to change the theme. The compact view and the imaged view are the two theme options. The imaged view is what Google cards look like. They are big. On the contrary, the compact view is what the name suggests, they are smaller, and occupy the smallest space.

On a 5-inch screen device, you can see a maximum of 4 news headlines on the screen without scrolling when you choose the compact view. For an imaged view, you can see a single headline per screen, and you have to scroll to find the next headline.

Android News Reader App TUKO-co-ke9-The effects of the theme changes on the app

Changing the theme in the settings menu changes how the news headlines look like. It also alters the look of the featured image and determines how many news headlines you can see per screen.

You can change the articles text size too. And as mentioned before, you can also view the amount of cache in use and empty it from the settings menu.

The version and build information are at the bottom of the rest of the settings.

Complaints

The ads are annoying. Maybe you know how to block them, though. I guess they are also trying to generate revenue for a good app they developed, but they could do better than add a popup ad. The ad takes the whole screen; it is super annoying.

However, the ads at the bottom and within the news articles are ok. I hope someone on the team reads this. Otherwise, you can block them if you know how.

TUKO.co.ke Android App for news-The annoying pop up ads

Here comes the annoying type of ads ever: Pop up ads. Whether online or in your phone, these ads are the worst.

Final Verdict

I have waited so much to get here; I can now tell you my opinion on TUKO.co.ke news app.

I Loved:

The Intuitive interface. The high contrast is what I liked most.

The animations too are ok.

The material design… That thing makes the experience extremely buttery. The best part? I can choose themes. If only I could get more colors to choose from, I miss blue.

The controls are useful.

Voting on stories? I’m in.

News update frequency is exceptional.

Offline mode is ok.

The Bad:

Ads are good. Pop-up ads are disgusting. I rest my case.

I tried looking for more bad stuff about this app, but I found none. That is bad.

So, there you go. Hate it or love it, I see the guys behind TUKO.co.ke news app have a bright future. The only improvement I would like to see is a way to save individual articles offline, and also, an option to change colors. Red is yours, TUKO, but I love blue. Can I get it for Christmas?

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