17/11/2019

Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

 Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News SitesRead the news without using up all of your bandwidth. A wide variety of sites offer mobile or text-only versions that work on any computer, but they’re occasionally buried and hard to find on the modern web.

There are more than a few reasons to want to know where these sites are, however. Maybe you don’t like clutter? Maybe you’re one of the millions still using dial-up, and want a low-bandwidth way to read news? Maybe you regularly tether your computer to your smartphone, but don’t have an unlimited data plan? Maybe you like to read the news on your e-reader and want clean sites for doing so? Or maybe you want a list of quick-to-load news sources in case a disaster slows down your Internet connection just when you need it most.

Whatever your reason, find a list of links to mobile news sites that work on any computer below, without the need for tricks like user agent switchers.

Google!

To begin: Google Reader’s mobile site.

 Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

This is perhaps the most important URL to know, because with it you can make any site into a mobile one. Here it is:

  • Google Reader Mobile, or go directly to your tags.

The mobile version of Google Reader will even convert non-mobile versions of sites linked to into mobile pages, meaning it’s the best friend of anyone looking to save on bandwidth and screen real estate.

Not a Google Reader user? There’s a lightweight version of Google News, but it sadly links to full-version sites on most computers. Here it is:

  • Google News Mobile

It’s a quick way to see which stories are big right now.

American News Sources

Let’s start our American list with some newspapers and wire services. Here are the main major papers I could find desktop-friendly mobile versions for:

 Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

  • The Christian Science Monitor Text-Only Edition. Beautifully formated for reading; no images at all.
  • Mobile version of USA Today. Smartphone-esque; images might look stretched in desktop browser.
  • Mobile version of the Wall Street Journal. Okay-looking interface; articles behind paywall.
  • Mobile version of the Chicago Tribune. Doesn’t look bad.
  • Mobile site of Reuters. All the latest articles from the wire service, works great on desktop.
  • Mobile site for Bloomberg, a great source for business news. Looks great on the desktop.
  • Mobile version of The Onion. By far America’s most accurate newspaper, and the mobile site ain’t bad either.

On to the medium of the future: radio! Just a few here that I could find:

  • NPR offers two services: Thin.NPR.org, which offers no images, no audio and no formatting. Or, if you prefer, there’s m.NPR.org, which functions like a smartphone app but works quite well.
  • Democracy Now’s mobile site is another option, though it can be confusing.
  • Voice of America’s mobile site. The official external radio station of the US government.

Why watch TV when you can read it? Don’t over-think that sentence.

  • NBC News mobile site. Works well. Still MSN-branded; might disappear soon.
  • Fox News mobile site. All headlines and sections. Articles are split into pieces.
  • CBS mobile version. Extremely thin interface is annoying; articles split.
  • ABC mobile version. Smartphonesque interface; large images that actually look quite good.

Global News

 Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

  • You can’t talk about global news sources without mentioning the BBC. It offers two mobile versions: a beautiful, simple site (pictured above) that I think should replace the default one and a older looking mobile site. Decide which you prefer for yourself.
  • Mobile version of The Economist (UK/International). Limited access to stories, but their “This Week” sections are always worth reading.
  • CBC’s mobile site (Canada). Notably lets you pick whether you images or not. Text-only version works great, though font is quite small.
  • The Toronto Star’s mobile site (Canada). Smartphonesque interface looks good on the desktop.
  • The National Post’s mobile site (Canada).
  • AFP’s Mobile site. This is a French wire service. Site is annoyingly thin on desktop browsers, but it works.
  • Times of India’s mobile site. Quick access to top Indian headlines, works great on desktop.

Weather

  • Wunderground Mobile. Fastest way to get an extensive overview of the weather anywhere.
  • Weather Channel Mobile site. USA only.
  • National Weather Service Mobile site. USA only.

Social Networks

Not exactly news sites, but these links can also save you some bandwidth and/or screen space.

  • Twitter Mobile
  • Facebook Mobile
  • Reddit Mobile

One More!

 Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites

Still not enough? TidyRead.com can make a mobile version out of any site. I feel obligated to mention them, and not only because they feature MakeUseOf on their home page – it’s a magic way to make any site lightweight.

Anything else?

If a news site you like is excluded, it’s probably because of one of four reasons:

  • I couldn’t find a mobile version that works on a desktop browser,
  • I didn’t know a particular news service existed,
  • It’s not in English, or
  • I’m an evil liberal/conservative/communist/corporatist/Canadian/American trying to prevent people from accessing particular news sources.

Having said that, please: if you know of a mobile news site that works on desktop browsers share it below. Let’s make this the ultimate list of such sites together.

One final note: many sites stop desktop users from viewing the mobile version of their site. There’s a way around that, though: changing your user agents and tricking those sites into thinking you’re on a mobile device. We’ve written up User Agent Switcher. Check it out:

  • User Agent Switcher for Firefox
  • User Agent Switcher for Chrome

The post Clean, Fast & Readable: Lightweight Versions Of Popular News Sites appeared first on MakeUseOf.

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