Damn you, Indecision!

i*Pad App Recommendations: News

I have been meaning to write about what apps I like to use on the iPad. This is long overdue! Let’s start with news apps, the main category of apps I use (besides social net apps):

Zite is my favorite magazine-style news app. It learns what you like to read based on your Twitter and Google Reader feeds, as well as thumbs up/down ratings for articles you read in Zite (and probably some other factors, like which articles you share). Zite is awesome for news discovery. I’ve been meaning to blog more about this app. For now, just try it yourself. 🙂

Flipboard is the original magazine-style news app. It lets you read your Twitter, Google Reader, Flickr, Instagram, and other news feeds like flipping through a magazine. They have lots of partnerships with media outlets like Wired, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and many others. Lots of curated news to read here!

Feedly is a great minimalist RSS reader. You may have used it as a browser plug-in. It works similarly on the iPhone and iPad. In fact, you could argue that they were the first to try to make a magazine-style news reading experience for your RSS feeds. They just started on the desktop. Love using it to quickly catch up on feeds. Zite and Flipboard are more for casual, laid-back news consumption.

MobileRSS is a nice conventional RSS feed reader, for those of you who just want a simple, desktop-like app for feed reading. It had some controversial UI in the past (looked a lot like Reeder, another popular RSS app), but now their UI has been updated to look completely different. It kind of reminds me of the look of Tweetbot.

Pulse News is one of the first iPad apps to do a visual approach to news reading. It is similar to Flipboard in that it allows you to visually browse your RSS, Twitter, and FB feeds, as well as other news sources they’ve partnered with. However, its layout is not magazine-like. Just check it out and you’ll see.

I used to use SkyGrid a lot before Zite came along. SkyGrid is also good for news discovery, especially for specific topics you like to follow. You can search on a topic and it’ll return a bunch of related (and unrelated) news stories from all different sources. If you like, you can start following a certain topic. My main problem with SkyGrid was that certain spammy blogs and bad news sources started to fill the streams, and there was no way to blacklist them. Though I can’t do the same kind of news searches on Zite (you can search for news topics, but only ones Zite has already show up in a pick list), I much prefer the “cleaner”, non-spam blog curation of Zite. Would like to see Sky Grid offer a source blacklist in the future.

Instapaper on iOS is great. Very easy way to save articles to read later from any source. There’s also a social component where you can read what articles your friends like. That’s a pretty cool feature I should use more often. Well, that’s it for my news app recommendations. I’ll cover other iPad app categories like social network, photo editing, media (consumption and creation), and other miscellaneous noteworthy apps. Stay tuned. 🙂


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