GDC 2012: NVIDIA Unveils Nvision, A Daily News App For Tegra-Powered Devices

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NVIDIA may be best known for its hardware, but that isn’t stopping the company from trying its hand at periodicals. This week from GDC in San Francisco, the hardware manufacturer announced its Nvision app, a daily news source for all Tegra-powered Android tablets.

Nvision app

Nvision serves as a central source that compiles news about games, movies, gadgets, science, and the Android OS (it was apparently also a physical periodical that started a couple years back, but its run ended last year). It also has a section for NVTV, a video show that will be updated monthly with new episodes of industry leaders talking about the latest games and tech. Though it is currently only available on Android devices that run on Tegra chips, and the news tends to gravitate towards NVIDIA-related subjects, Editor-in-chief Will Tuttle explained that Nvision content isn’t all NVIDIA, all the time.

“There’s no mandate coming from NVIDIA that says all of the content has to be directly related to NVIDIA tech,” said Tuttle when I asked how the publication could manage to tie NVIDIA into movie-related news and content. “At the end of the day, it’s a technology magazine.”

I got to spend some time messing around with the app on the show floor, and it features a clean, slick layout, complete with an animated background (but nothing too garish). Navigation is easy; Nvision is divided up into tabs for each of the aforementioned categories, with several pages of news articles within each tab. All users have to do is tap their tab of choice, and then swipe from side to side to navigate the pages within the tab. And rather than just sliding out of sight, the tiles of pages actually spin on the spot, turning to bring you to your next page. I was curious as to whether or not the app would be available on Tegra-powered phones, as the layout really only lent itself to a landscape orientation, but Tuttle said he wasn’t sure if it would be coming to handsets.

nVidia LogoAnother nice design choice is that, for all its content, Nvision keeps you within the app. Clicking on a link to a story doesn’t open up a webpage in the browser, it just takes you to a page within the app with the full story. Videos can be viewed within the app as well, the only exception being if nVidia cannot gain exclusive rights to a video and must post a clip from YouTube. Clicking on any videos hosted on YouTube will boot you out of the app, but it’s nothing a quick press of the back button can’t fix.

I asked Tuttle if the Nvision app would in any way be tied into NVIDIA’s gaming-centric TegraZone app, which we actually covered back around the time it was launched, but he said there would be no direct association. It seemed like a good opportunity to bring the two together, but Tuttle said that they only correspond with the TegraZone team to get tips and ideas for stories.

Tuttle said that the Nvision app, which is currently in beta, will go live next week, from which point on it will be updated with one new article a day for a total of five new articles a week. And this is legit stuff; founding members of Future Plc — the company responsible for quality publications like OXM — left their company to create Nvision publisher Dialect, so you know that it’s being handled by pros. Catch a glimpse of their content in the new app once it’s finalized and available for download from Google Play for the low price of free next week.

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