ChannelCaster for Android lets users create and publish personalized "channels" that aggregate news from thousands of supported news sources. In addition to all of the expected big-name publications and blogs, ChannelCaster can pull feeds from Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter. Its design is clean and visually appealing with its sharp, vibrant thumbnails, and its navigation is incredibly simple with only three main tabs along the top of the app.
The Favorites tab is really the heart of the ChannelCaster experience. This is where you save your most frequently visited channels, and presumably where you'll spend most of your time. You can tap on a channel to view it, or tap on the channel's title bar to view details. On the details screen, you can also share the channel with your friends via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook.
The Browse tab provides an easy, visual way of sifting through the app's different news sources. The process is intuitive, as you simply swipe and tap through a treelike listing of categories and subcategories until you find a channel you're interested in. As expected, there are categories covering Sports, News, and Entertainment, among others. Also, there are icons for quick access to Recently Viewed channels and Local channels. Channels marked Tier 1 are recommended by ChannelCaster's staff, while those marked Public have been broadcast by other ChannelCaster users. There are also Private channels, which are those that you've created on your own.
The Build tab houses all of the channels you've built on your own, whether you've made them public or not. There's also, of course, the Build Channel interface, which isn't too complicated, but does take some getting used to.
One thing we found missing from ChannelCaster was the ability to sync with Google Reader accounts. For someone who has accumulated an extensive RSS subscription list in Google Reader, syncing would surely make it easier to give this new kid on the block a try.
We love the visual appeal and the powerful customizations that ChannelCaster offers. If you gather news from all over the Web, and find yourself downloading countless apps from different sources, this might be a great replacement for many of them. Overall, we think ChannelCaster is a winner.