Date: December 10, 2010
App type: News & Weather
Publisher: The Associated Press
Release date: October 22, 2010
Price: FREE
Requirements: Access to your data connection, location services, media library, push notifications, and owner identity

I'm a news hound, which I know comes as no surprise. But what may surprise you is where I choose to get my news from: I don't read gadget or tech blogs--which are largely written by unsophisticated kids--and I don't hover over a Twitter client all day long like a submarine sonar man looking for meaning in the noise. Instead, I choose to get my news from the tap, if you will: From the few credible sources of original news reporting that still exist. Among these are tier-one newspapers like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but also independent news-gathering agencies like Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press, or AP.

As an iPhone user over three years, I'm familiar with the fact of these organizations--AP, Bloomberg, and Reuters--provides a high-quality app for that platform, and one of my goals in moving to Windows Phone this past year involved insuring that I could get the most valuable iPhone apps on this new platform as well. The AP Mobile app is the first such app to appear on Windows Phone, and while it provides the same basic functionality as its iPhone equivalent, it also does so using the unique and superior Metro look and feel.

On Windows Phone, the AP Mobile app provides a standard, pivot-based view, with a customizable Front Page--I've set mine up to display technology news first, followed by top news, travel, sports, and showbiz--a nice media gallery, and then a full list of all available sections, including local, weather, search, settings, and the various categories: Top news, sports, showbiz, U.S. news, small business, world, wacky, technology, business, politics, lifestyle, travel, health, science, religion and press releases.

(Private pet peeve: I don't like when news sources bundle science and technology together as a single topic--as Google News does--but AP Mobile, as you can see, does not do this.)

Via the settings interface, you can customize what appears on the Front Page, and in what order, where local news and weather get pulled from (and you can specify multiple sources for each), and more.

All in all, the AP Mobile app is a great example of a great service combined with the preferred Windows Phone look and feel. Highly recommended for news hounds everywhere.