The News app has had a complete UI overhaul in Windows 10 Tech Preview build 10056. As you can see the new design puts far more of a focus on the visual images for stories, gone is the panoramic Hub control that scrolls horizontally, instead replaced by vertical scrolling. This change does allow for the user to see far more of the content on first glance, instead of being suggested to scroll sideways for more.
The hamburger menu is again in the top-left of the application and allows access to Topics and Settings. The only setting right now is the selection of which edition (Australian Pictured). Once you’re in a topic, the posts are a simple grid of articles, headlines left aligned, image on the right and a summary. There’s no select and share options, in fact this app doesn’t allow you to share, just click and view.
Viewing articles is much like the reading mode in Project Spartan browser. There’s no ads, no mess, no fuss, just the content. Like Flipboard, this is likely to be a hot topic amongst content providers. You can flip through articles with mouse clicks, swipes or using your arrow keys and with a smooth transition, you’re on to the next article.
The negative space is likely intended to allow you to focus just on the article, but on a large display, this seems like a horrible waste of real estate and results in plenty of scrolling. If you’re using this on a Surface in portrait mode for a reading experience, it works great.
You’ll also notice in the top-right there’s your user profile photo (next to search). You can’t do anything with this right now, other than sign out, but this indicates your read articles would be synced across other Windows 10 devices (like Windows Phone).
One of my favourite new areas is the new video section, it’s a click-to-play experience and the quality of video playback is decent, I wouldn’t say amazing. Video sources in Australia include Today, Reuters, nine News, BBC News, Seven News, TENplay, Bloomberg and even The Verge. This interface works well and after using this section of the News app for a while, I know I’ll be spending plenty of time here, a solid upgrade to the News app is on its way in Windows 10.