BBC News is a well-designed app for browsing through stories and video from one of the world's most respected news sources. The app also prominently showcases BBC Radio, with a button for listening to live radio while you're browsing.
BBC News is one of the better news apps available, with an attractive and efficiently organized interface that's easy to navigate--and that reacts intelligently when changing between vertical and horizontal layouts. You can browse through headlines and thumbnail pictures around categories such as Top Stories, Technology, and Features & Analysis (you can easily scroll between and within categories with a quick swipe), with the main window displaying whatever story you've currently selected (which you can adjust the type size for, and share by e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter). You can also customize which sections appear in the app and in what order. Under "Watch/Listen," the app features the latest one-minute "World News Summary" and "Business Summary" videos, as well as the most recent audio for "World News Bulletin" (2 minutes) and "BBC Newshour" (60 minutes). You can also access news in eight other languages, including Arabic and Urdu.
This app isn't perfect: The ads are particularly annoying in the iPhone version (a paid version isn't available), and there's no robust support for offline reading--although the app does save text for all recent stories, so when you're on a plane, for example, you could read all the stories that had loaded while you were at the gate. That said, it's one of the best all-around news readers for the iPad, and a good value for a free app. We'd even pay a little to get rid of those ads.