The other day I was having lunch with David Ziser and he was going on about his favorite new iPad App, Zite. After hearing him talk about how much he liked it and how it blew the competitors away, I figured I should try it. Zite is a customizable magazine App for the iPad. Not the first of it's kind but definitely the best. With custom content addition, auto learning, and an awesome interface this is my new favorite Magazine App.
The first thing that struck me as different about Zite was it's auto learn feature. Not really auto learning so much as it takes your interests from either Twtter, or Google reader (whichever you decide to log in with) and creates custom content for you. You don't have to sign in with these services to to use Zite however. You can skip this step and choose your content categories manually. I signed in with my Twitter account and Zite determined that I like Gadgets, Macs, Photography, Social media, technology, etc.. All of these things were correct. I was thoroughly impressed with this feature, and could have spent hours reading up on the content that it provided without and addition input from me.
Choosing More Content
While the auto learning feature did an outstanding job of picking categories and content that I enjoy, there were still a few things that I wanted to add from their list of sections. Doing so was easy. At the bottom of the sections list on the right side of the screen is a customize option. You are then presented with a list of different popular categories. I added Fashion (something that I want to keep up on for fashion photography), and Sports.
The second part of adding more content is adding custom content. Under the same "customize" option on the right side of the screen you find a "enter your own" box. This box allows you to type your own content interest and search it. I added Adobe, Photoshop, iPad, iPhone, iOS Apps etc.
Quality User Interface
One of the nicest parts of this App is the user interface. It has a distinctive magazine feel to it. Articles are laid out in Top Stories format (all topics mixed up), or by section. Choosing a specific section will get you expanded content on that particular topic that may or may not be covered in the Top Stories section. The transition between articles is smooth and the page turns are precise and handled well within the App. There aren't a lot of unneeded buttons or tabs to clutter the screen. Zite has done a wonderful job with this setup.
The auto learning feature, coupled with the ability to add custom content, combined with the slick user interface makes this my new favorite custom magazine App.