Review: Zite Personalized Magazine iPad App

I’ve just found that I’m a big fan of dozens of magazine articles, blog posts and web articles being categorized and fed to me. The Zite app is truly a cool way to get your news fix.

Did I mention it’s free? Yes, it is.

Smooth Presentation

I’m not sure whether it’s as much the iPad, itself, or Zite’s layout and graphic presentation, but it is, in a word, smooth.

The concept is much like that of Google Reader,, and others; choose your topics from general categories and/or make your own and the app pulls in articles from dozens of popular publications. You can even opt to draw topics and articles from your Twitter feed and Google Reader.

Zite category page screenshot

I chose the Google route, but I was afraid to pull my Twitter account in. I’m sure it would’ve been fine, but the variety of my Twitter fiends kind of scares me. Based upon the categories you choose and the topics you pull in from other sources, Zite pits together your personal magazine.

It is displayed in magazine layout, with several posts and articles, along with the source, photos and snippets from each. A simple finger slide takes you from page to page, which isn’t really a shocker.  It updates each time you exit the app and reopen, not simply once per day.

I continue to have no problem with the iPad display quality, even less-so with the iPad 2. Sure, it could be better, but it’s pretty darn good right now. The magazine photos look great. If I were a graphic designer or creative person of that ilk, I might feel differently.

From download to reading my first story literally took less than a minute. Put the ease of use alongside a great display and you have a great magazine app.  But, that’s not all.

Choosing preferences with Zite


You Read My Mind

That’s what Zite does, which I’m not sure is more scary or convenient. It takes what you read, the posts you tap, and formulates its guess as to what you want to see in the future. The reader also get a chance to put in their two-cents by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, selecting more from a site, more of a particular topic, or more from a given source.

So far, Zite has been a great reading experience. A few minor tweaks is all Zite needs. I’d like to see the ability to change font size. Smaller fonts to get more on the page, or larger, if needed would be an even more personal experience. Also, there’s no way to enter specific sites you’d like to see, but that can be remedied by including them in your Google lineup.  Still, that’s a two-step process.

All things considered, Zite is an already great app. Some simple additions will make it too awesome to be free. It has a home on my iPad.