Circa has smart ways to keep you on top of news you care about


Circa for iPhone is a “personal news wire” that delivers cliff notes about stories with sources and links to tap through if you want to know more. It also has two ways of showing you just the news you care about—Daily Brief and Followed Stories.

Daily Brief

Daily Brief lets you select high-level topics, such as Technology and World News, then it delivers a handful of the most important stories from a broad range of news outlets at a time you specify. I have my brief delivered every morning at 7 am, though I wish I could tell it to not deliver on some days, like Saturday.

Since Daily Brief is such a big new feature, Circa will probably prompt you to set it up. You can also tap the menu drawer in the upper left, then Settings.

Followed Stories

Followed Stories is a more fine-grained and as-it-happens option for staying informed about specific stories. Want a Push Notification when there’s a major update about Twitter suing the US government over publishing surveillance reports? Tap the Follow Story button and you’ll get an alert as soon as the next major milestone is published, regardless of the source Circa uses and cliff-note-ifies. You can also see all your followed stories under Menu > Mange Followed Stories.

Overall I like Circa’s approach. Its article summaries are great and source links are easy to find and tap through to read more. The nerd in me wishes it offered more control over the sources it uses to curate stories, but the nascent product owner in me realizes that would be antithetical to their approach. Besides, greater control over sources and content is why we have plenty of newsreaders like Feedly and Reeder.