7 must-have Android apps for news junkiesYou’ll always have the latest headlines and magazine-length features at your fingertips with these seven news-savvy apps installed on your Android phone. And yes—they’re all free.

1. AP Mobile

Get breaking news, photos and videos straight from the Associated Press, no subscription fee required. Also included: photo galleries and video clips.

Download: AP Mobile

2. Flipboard

This gorgeous “social magazine” takes headlines and photos from your favorite blogs and websites and arranges them into flippable, magazine-style pages. You can choose from more than a dozen hand-crafted sections or pick your own online news sources—and if you’re feeling chatty, you can connect your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to see what your friends are reading.

Download: Flipboard

3. Google Currents

Google’s take on Flipboard boasts a handsome, easy-to-browse layout featuring news sites that have been optimized for smartphone readers. Like Flipboard, Google Currents lets you choose your own sections and sites, or you can also take a gander at popular stories that are “trending” on Google.

Download: Google Currents

4. gReader

Fans of Google Reader—the essential Google service that lets you subscribe to the RSS (short for “Real Simple Syndication”) feeds of just about any blog on the web—shouldn’t leave home without this handy app.

Just connect gReader to Google Reader, and the app will sync and download your most recent Google Reader articles to your handset. Once you read a story on gReader, it’ll be marked as “read” in your Google Reader account.

Download: gReader

5. Pocket

Apps like Flipboard and gReader are great for scanning the latest headlines, but what if you want to settle in with a 40,000-word New Yorker feature?

Enter Pocket, an app that lets you download and read online news articles—the longer the better—on your phone. You can customize font sizes and styles, pick from a trio of different page background, and swipe to turn pages, just like on the mobile Kindle app.

Download: Pocket

6. Pulse News

Like Flipboard and Google Currents, Pulse News lets you browse stories from “curated” news sections or your favorite websites. The twist? Instead of flippable pages, Pulse News serves up scrollable rows of eye-popping photos and headlines.

Download: Pulse News

7. Zite

Here’s a great magazine-style Android app for anyone who’d rather not bother with building their own library of news sites. Just fire up Zite, pick a few basic news categories and start reading—and as you do, Zite will “learn” the types of stories that interest you the most.

Download: Zite

Bonus tip

No cellular signal? All the apps featured above will save your most recently synced articles to your phone’s memory, meaning you’ll always have something to read—even if your Android phone is temporarily cut off from the world.

Even better, some apps (like gReader) will automatically download the latest news daily or even hourly.

For more details on how a specific app handles “offline” reading, check its Settings menu.

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