Developer: Zite, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
You have most likely heard about Flipboard, the social news magazine app that everyone seems to be using. Rightly so as it has an intuitive interface and works great. One you may or may not have heard of is Zite, the personalized magazine app that is similar to Flipboard, but uses a different user interface setup and seems to stick to the news instead of your social feeds, which is growing on me.
Don't get me wrong, I like seeing everything in one app, but to be honest, I find that I sometimes get annoyed at my social feeds intertwined into my news feeds. This is where I think Zite works its magic. It's news only. Technology, politics, culinary, you name it, Zite has it. Even better, it learns from you. Zite's built-in AI pays attention to what you read and then serves up similar news.
If you've been unsatisfied with your personalized news results from other apps, you may find Zite a refreshing change. Simply put, instead of delivering news from your favorite sources Zite uncovers news on your favorite topics.
Zite promises to source its news by searching millions of articles each day and bringing you the best of your favorite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs, and videos. That's what sets it apart from other flip-style news apps — Zite searches multiple sites and offers up multiple angles, breaking the filter bubble.
It's similar to Google's style in that when you go to Google News, say their tech section, it offers you the top stories from multiple sources. This works extremely well so you're not getting one source's take on the story. For instance, I was browsing through Zite's tech section and it offered up 10 different sources for RIMM's BlackBerry announcement. One was on the financial impact while another discussed the design of the two new phones and a third covered RIMM's corporate renaming to BlackBerry.
As for using the app, it's intuitive, clean and dead simple. After signing in or creating an account (which is optional), you simply choose a few topics that interest you, kind of like Pinterest, and go through a short tutorial and voilà. As for features of Zite, you can click on top stories, which is the main function that delivers top articles from all of your interests. Or you can select the dropdown menu from the upper left and drill down to each of your interests. Mine are technology, gadgets, photography, Apple news, design and iOS Apps. Go figure.
A simple user interface combined with the ability to learn and offer up fresh sources makes Zite a great free option for personalizing your reading experience.