Zite describes itself as – A personalized iPad magazine that gets smarter as you use it. The very first time you open the app after installation leads you to a page that urges you to pick some of your favourite sections you need for the magazine. You can also add your twitter credentials or Google Reader credentials to the app. Make no mistake though, for Zite is neither a RSS reader nor a twitter client. It takes in the credentials only to improve the personalization. Apart from this, you can even choose your own custom topics as sections. Let us say you are into Indian movies, then you could add “Indian Movies” as a custom section. This will get you the latest and interesting bits from the Indian film industry. The custom sections ensure that the app gives you flexibility to add what interests you.
That apart, Zite is all about giving you intelligent content based on what you like within the different sections. The app learns your preferences and gives you content from sources in the internet. The Twitter and Google reader account integration into Zite only help fasten the learning process.
Zite is a pretty cool app for new source discovery. Usually all of us have a more or less fixed set of destinations on the internet which we head to for consuming content but Zite wants to change that. It will give you interesting and fresh content. When you are on the reader page, you have to choice to thumb up, thumb down, select the tags of the articles that interest you. Thumbing up of articles you like and thumbing down of those you do not, also helps it learn.
You can also register a profile with Zite so that you can have your personalization and content available to you across devices.
Final thoughts : Zite has a clean, no-nonsense design and is easy to use. Also, learning from the user preferences is what sets Zite apart. I, personally, have found interesting new sources and websites in the time that I have interacted with the app. If you want an app for your RSS feeds, Facebook feeds and twitter client along with your news, look elsewhere. Zite is a news app specifically for the discoverer in you.
Zite is a free app. You can download it from here.
News on the iPad is a mini-series of posts about various fun & easy news and feed readers for the iPad.