So, how do you get your news? I want an easy (and pretty, and fun-to-use) way to read blogs and current news on my iPhone and iPad. Seems simple enough, but the problem I have is more than one app does this.
My favorites are Pulse, Flipboard, and Zite. Pulse and Flipboard are both universal apps, which is nice because they sync between my two gadgets. Zite, however, is only available on iPad at this point (Any chance it will be on the iPhone in the future? Please?).
I like Pulse and Flipboard because I can enter in RSS feeds and the app will collect them all, keep them updated, and present them to me in a visually-pleasing manner. As of today, I’m happier with Pulse because I am currently fighting with Flipboard to have it find my favorite app review site. I also like Pulse because I can create separate pages for different categories that I can label and organize as I please (for example, I have pages for news, tech, travel, knitting, etc.). From within pulse I can “star” a post or share it on Facebook or Twitter, or by email. Pulse is easy to use and meets that all so tricky criterion of “enjoyable to use.”
Flipboard has a lot of the same advantages as Pulse. It’s nice to look at and interact with, it’s simple to use (aside from my current issue), and you can organize it (to some degree) how you like. The main difference I see between Flipboard and Pulse is that in Flipboard, when you click on a post, just below it you’re in the actual web interface, which can make commenting or interacting on the site a smidge simpler in some cases.
Now, Zite… I REALLY like Zite (and wish it was on iPhone!) because it gets smarter as I use it. Think of it this way… Zite is to News as Pandora is to Music. You begin by identifying topics you’re interested in, then Zite gives you a newspaper-type layout of stories that match those areas of interest. When you see the article, you can rate it with a thumbs up or down and Zite will adjust your feeds accordingly. You can also request to have more articles from that site, author, or specialized topic. Sharing from Zite is really simple too- you just tap an icon to share to email, Evernote, Twitter, Delicious, LinkedIn, Read It Later, Facebook, or Instapaper. Finally, within any article, you can adjust the text size and style or view the post on the web with just the tap of a button. The one thing that Zite doesn’t do, is allow me to enter my own RSS feeds. It uses my Google Reader and Twitter accounts to customize news for me, but it doesn’t just feed those in like Pulse and Flipboard.
So, based on all the above, I have to say that my favorite news aggregator is Zite. I use it almost exclusively. However, I still alternate between Pulse and Flipboard for my RSS feed presentation.
What about you? What is your favorite and am I missing something wonderful that one of these apps does that would make it even better for me to be using?
[Update]: Talk about timing… Zite came out for the iPhone today (less than two days after this post!) and I’m really looking forward to trying it out. If you already have, let me know what you think!
[Updated update!]: I really like Zite on my iPhone, which is good to know. Because, despite how much I wanted it, I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to navigate on my phone. I’ve found, though, that I can easily maneuver between different sections and do all the same things I love about it on my iPad, so I say go for it… get the iPhone version (and if you already have an iPad version, create a profile on Zite and sync it with your iPhone app so all your favorites are carried over).
i use google reader for the most important feeds (and only the important ones), where i don’t want to miss anything. it syncs the read/unread state between laptop (web interface) and the smartphone app. for the “big picture” i use the news aggregator http://www.newsk.it. i added the site as a webapp to my homescreen next to the google reader, so i have instant access to it.