With Apple leading the tablet parade with its smash-hit, the iPad, app developers are finding ways to make the most out of its features. Now, we’re able to view content in ways like never before – bringing together various news publications and social media links so that you get a rich, dynamic, and personalized experience. Today, we’ve rounded up six iPad apps that we believe will not only save you time, they’ll make you more in tune with what’s going on with the world around you. These apps are not only sleekly designed, they’re surprisingly easy to use. So the next time you need your quick news fix, try out one of these apps. You’ll be amazed by the fluid experience.
CNN recently announced that they have acquired the news-reading app Zite. This smart app learns what you like and starts giving you articles that it thinks you’ll enjoy. It chooses content for your sections by using an algorithm that finds articles which have the most buzz – the ones most shared and discussed. By giving you not only the news but blog posts, videos and other content from both mainstream media and niche sites, you’ll always feel like you’re in the know. With its clean, sleek design, this app is best for those who appreciate a nice interface and who don’t have the time and patience to sift through tons of articles to find the one that resonate with them.
Tip: Make sure to sync your Twitter and Google Reader account and thumb up or down articles you read so that Zite can start picking up on your preferences.
Flipboard calls itself the first social magazine. It’s one of the first apps that really showed the world how content could be organized so that it feels as though we’re flipping through an actual magazine. The Palo Alto-based company is constantly striving to make its app more useful and robust; not only are they always adding a well-curated collection of publishers, they’ve started a Content Guide where you can quickly find new publishers, add social networks and search for a person, blog or topic. What Flipboard does best is aggregate the news that you want and then show these articles in a print-style page layout that’s slick and visually appealing.
Tip: Make the most of your app by knowing about all the latest updates.
Often spoken in the same breath as Flipboard, Pulse emerged onto the scene with a bang. Two Stanford grads, Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta, created this app in just 5 weeks, as part of a course at the Institute of Design. Since then, the app has gone on to win numerous awards and accolades. It was named one of the 50 apps in Apple’s App Store Hall of Fame and one of TIME’s top 50 iPhone apps of 2011. (It was even praised by Steve Jobs at the WWDC 2010 keynote!) Pulse is an RSS-based news aggregator that displays stories into an interactive mosaic. It shows off your articles in simple but straight-forward ways – as tiles you can tap and swipe.
Tip: Want to save your stories to read later? Just sync them to send them to Instapaper, Read it Later, Evernote and Reader.
4. The Daily
Followed closely by the media, The Daily was Rupert Murdoch’s “No. 1 most exciting project” at the time of its launch. Here you’ll find content that’s a mix of text, high-resolution images and high-definition video. Weekly subscriptions are priced at $0.99 cents each, which caused a stir because it pioneered a new type of in-app subscription service that Apple approved. Created by scratch just for the iPad, you’re guaranteed to experience something entirely new and different with this app. To keep things fresh, The Daily offers 100 pages of original content every single day of the year.
Tip: If you’re unsure about paying for each issue, try out The Daily free for two weeks.
Price: $0.99 cents per week or $39.99 per year
5. The Early Edition
If you love getting your news an in aggregated way, look no further than The Early Edition. CNET calls this app, “what happens when high-tech meets old-school.” Why? The Early Edition takes all of the news sources you enjoy, via their RSS feeds, and then presents the content to you in a way that’s easy to read and enjoyable, almost as if you were reading an actual newspaper. Click the Fetch button to stay on top of new stories and bring in your news sources from websites, battery blogs, twitter and forums. You can even customize the arrangement to your own preferences. It’s the closest you’ll get to reading an actual newspaper, except it’s customized just for you!
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With all the paid iPad apps out there, it’s refreshing to have one that’s absolutely free. News360 aggregates more than 5,000 different news sources from around the web and then arranges them for you by category into a nice, clean stream. It’s chock full of features including letting you use your location to get local news, giving you the ability to dive deeper into the details of people, brands and companies with hyperlinks, and allowing you to import “likes” from your Facebook account. That way, you’ll get a good mix of news that News360 and your friends have suggested.
Tip: Make sure to integrate your Facebook Twitter, Evernote and Google Reader accounts so that News360 can show you an interest graph of stories they believe will be relevant to you.
Which of these iPad apps do you use? Are we missing any?