One of my favorite iPhone applications is BNO News — a lightweight app that lets you receive messages from the BNO newswire. The service, which is best known for its extremely popular Twitter account, offers very timely, short snippets of news throughout the day, often before mainstream media catches wind of it. The iPhone app lets you receieve these messages as soon as they happen using push notifications. It’s great (I always feel like I know what’s going on before everyone else), but the app had one major flaw: BNO News pushed an alert for every story it deemed important.
That means that I’ve gotten urgent updates on stories that I really don’t care about, like the French lottery having a large jackpot. This isn’t to say that the stories weren’t newsworthy — I just didn’t need my iPhone ringing every time one of them popped up. Fortunately that ends today: BitMethod, the development house that built the BNO News app, has released a new version that brings with it some key new features, including the ability to filter the stories you receive. You can download the updated version here.
The new application is still quite straightforward. Upon opening it you’ll see a list of the most recent BNO News stories. Click the ‘Options’ button and you’ll be able to subscribe to updates from over a dozen categories, including Politics, Tech/Science, Disasters, Health, and more. If there are only a few specific topics that you’re interested in, you can specify a list of keywords, and get alerted any time one of those appears in an update. From then on you’ll only receive updates from those categories, along with the news that BNO News considers very important.
Another addition to the BNO application is a subscription pricing plan (the old application’s page informed users that this change was coming). If you want access to the full filtering options BNO News will cost 99 cents per month, with one month included as part of the application’s initial $1.99 purchase price.