1. AP Mobile
Not only does the AP Mobile iPhone app (The Associated Press, Free) include a ton of news content, but it also syncs with your local news and weather. Other nifty features include push notifications for breaking news alerts, gorgeous photo galleries, and the ability to customize the kind of news you want to see on your homepage. The interface may be a little cluttered with ads and article ratings, but that's easy to forgive since everything else about AP Mobile works so well. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The New York Times iPhone app (The NY Times, Free) isn't the best for breaking news, and it doesn't support push notifications. Even so, this app provides access to the Times' in-depth reporting on a variety of topics, and you can save news articles for up to seven days. Offline reading is another plus. The interface is snazzy and there are lots of sharing options via text, Twitter, or email. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Not surprisingly, the iPhone app from National Public Radio (NPR, Free) focuses on radio news with an hourly newscast and access to popular NPR radio shows. You can stream both live or archived episodes. There are also plenty of print articles to accompany the hours of radio content available in the NPR app. Some sections -- like science and technology -- could be beefed up a bit, but overall the quality of reporting here is excellent. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
If you get your news from a variety of different sources, the Fluent News Reader (Fluent Mobile Inc, Free) is worth a look. This app compiles news and headlines from organizations like Fox News, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. You can customize which sources display headlines on the homepage, but I wish you could add news sites that are not included. There are some ads in this free app, but the wide news coverage makes it worth a download. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
5. CNN Mobile
If you prefer video news, the CNN Mobile app (CNN Interactive Group, $1.99) is probably your best bet. It has an excellent selection of videos, including clips from CNN shows, and you can also surf user-generated content in the iReport section. CNN Mobile provides breaking news alerts and local news and weather. I found the news coverage a little slim compared to apps like AP Mobile, but CNN still offers a slick news app that most will enjoy. Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
6. MSNBC News
The MSNBC news app (Zumobi Inc, Free) does one of the best jobs of sending out breaking news alerts using push notifications. The alerts are timely and relevant, but you can turn them off if they bother you. This app is a good choice if you regularly watch The Today Show, NBC Nightly News or other NBC news programming, since it includes lots of video segments from those shows. However, the MSNBC app has a ton of ads and it feels a bit more commercial than some of the other iPhone news apps. Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.