: CNN has acquired Zite! CNN has acquired technology company Zite along with the app for the iPad as announced today by Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.
News delivery and consumption on the iPad is maturing at a fast rate. One of my personal favorite apps for reading news on the iPad is Zite. When I first heard about Zite, I was a bit skeptic and was expecting it be yet another RSS news aggregator, because the screenshots don’t do it enough justice. Zite does a great job of taking your favorite feeds from your Twitter, Google Reader, and Delicious and turning them into your own personalized magazine. The result is an easy to navigate layout of articles you are actually interested in, without the duplicate headlines you will get by just using an RSS reader.
Zite then creates sections of content for you automatically based on your consumption and you can go into the settings to manage them. You turn off sections or create your own sections by typing in keywords. You can also pick from sections that Zite itself suggests for you, which is a good way to quickly get a broader view on the news scene.
Using Zite is really fun and makes you want to come back. The app loads fast and doesn’t make you wait. From the main screen you see some sneak previews of what’s in the magazine. Swipe right and start reading. The main section is always “Top Stories” and your other sections are listed on the right side of the screen. Zite works in either portrait or landscape, but using landscape makes it more useful.
Tap any story to read the full article inside of the app. Zite has a system of pulling in the entire contents of the article, even if the site’s RSS feed is only syndicating a teaser. The reading pane in Zite is reminiscent of the “Reader” view in the Safari browser. There is no clutter, just content and multimedia, with large legible text for easy reading. A right pane lists buttons for various sharing and emailing functions. This is very well designed and cuts out multiple steps by not having any menus or drop downs. Everything you need to do is all there, including Instapaper, Twitter, Facebook and Delicious saving functionality. Zite also has its own thumbs up/thumbs down feature where you can rate stories you like/dislike. You can also change the font size and font type for further customization.
So overall, Zite is a game changer and wins in pretty much every aspect of being a good news reader app: speed, customizability, simplicity, functionality, and design. Like Flipboard, layout of the various articles in Zite has a dynamic flow so it feels more like a flowing magazine as opposed to a a bunch of blocks of content. And if all that wasn’t enough, Zite is free, which makes this app pretty much a no brainer must have for any iPad owner.
Here is a video demo of the Zite Personalized Magazine app on the iPad
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