The New York Times/bit.ly News.me for iPad news app didn’t fit my news reading needs. Flipboard and Zite provide interesting mixes of tradtional news sources as well as new curated by the people you follow on Twitter and friend on Facebook. One of my recent favorites for news reading is, surprisingly, Microsoft’s Bing for iPad search app’s news component. But, the news fiend in me wanted to see other iPad apps with a social news curation bent to it. Two that were suggested to me are Hitpad and Taptu.
I took a look at Hitpad iPad after trying Taptu.
The first thing that grabs your attention is Hitpad’s amazing looking graphical interface. It is both simple and beautiful at the same time. It might be what Apple CEO Steve Jobs once referred to as a “lickable interface”. Each topic areas has information categorized by type: News, tweets, videos, web, and photos. While Hitpad looks better than and is more readable than Taptu, its news curation is fixed. Linking to your Twitter and/or Facebook account is just for sharing information. It does not use your own sources for news curation. I asked Hitpad founder and CEO Jay Meydad about Hitpad’s current curation process. He said: The trending topics are coming from numerous high authority news sites that we monitor, aggregate, analyze, rank & optimize. He also noted that a new version will be released soon that will have additional improvements to this process. One process I hope will be tuned a bit more is the tweet source. I found too many tweets in languages I do not read (anything but English). Thus, the tweet stream was often useless to me.
Both Taptu and Hitpad are promising news apps. Both need a bit more tweaking to optimize social news feeds.