A new video app from Hyper wants to help you catch up on the latest news during your commute. What’s interesting about Hyper News, compared with apps from traditional news publishers, is that it has been specifically designed so you can watch its videos even when there is no internet connection available. This makes it ideal for people who travel on the subway to work, or for those times you want something to watch on the plane.
Hyper News is the latest app from Hyper, the makers of a video magazine that aimed to give publishers a better way to reach audiences, while also giving users a way to more quickly find something to watch, as opposed to having to browse YouTube.
Hyper’s flagship application itself first launched on iPad last year, before being acquired by the millennial-focused publisher Mic. It later introduced an iPhone version.
Today, the main Hyper app has been downloaded more than half a million times, and its users are spending an average of 16 minutes in the app each session.
However, where the main Hyper app focuses more on longer-form, higher-production-value videos and in-depth storytelling, the Hyper News app instead delivers shorter videos that resemble those you see making the rounds on social networks, like Facebook.
The videos, which are only 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length, are all captioned, so you don’t need to have audio in order to watch.
The content of the videos, too, is different from the original Hyper. Instead of offering a variety of formats and topics, Hyper News is solely focused on providing the latest news in video format. Its content is sourced from parent company Mic itself, as well as other sites, like Fusion, NowThis and Mashable.
Explains Markus Gilles, co-founder and CEO at Hyper, the commute to work is the best time to catch up on the news.
“But that’s also the time when most likely your internet connection will be spotty at best or, if you’re taking the subway to work, might well be non-existent,” he says.
“Hyper News was created to solve that exact problem. Whenever you’re connected to WiFi — at home or in the office — the app syncs in the background to make sure the latest news videos are always preloaded to your phone. So you get to enjoy buffer-free news videos on the go, even without internet,” Gilles adds.
There isn’t a fixed number of videos Hyper News will include daily. But users can expect to have at least 20 new videos every morning and every evening in time for their commute, Gilles says. (You can configure how much storage space the app is allowed to use).
Since its launch in late November, Hyper News has been featured on the iTunes App Store as one of Apple’s featured “new apps we love.” Meanwhile, Hyper was named one of Apple’s top 10 apps of the year.
There are some things Hyper News could do better. For instance, while Hyper’s main app had a number of publisher partners, including Condé Nast Entertainment (publisher of Vogue, The New Yorker, Wired and others) as well as Refinery29, Hyper News has far fewer sources. Its videos can also only be viewed in portrait mode, which is odd.
But these issues could be addressed in time, as the app continues to develop.
Hyper News is a free download, and is only on iOS for the time being.