The Complete Guide to the iPad News Reading Experience: The Battle of the Apps


Flipboard is perhaps the most well-known of the magazine-style news reading apps. It aggregates content primarily from the user’s connected social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. It also displays content from a plethora of official content providers, consisting of a variety of blogs and news sources. There are some interesting news sources that a user can subscribe to. These content channels include Stumbleupon, PocketHits (popular content being saved on the Pocket reading service), Audio Content, Video Content, Instagram Popular, Reddit for Flipboard, and Local channels. Content can also be added from RSS feeds a user subscribes to via their Google Reader account. Flipboard selects to display content based upon how popular it is on the web and the users’ connected social networks. Since it supports so many sources, it does a very good job of finding relevant news. The Flipboard interface is probably the most aesthetically pleasing of all the apps reviewed in this post. It sports well-organized pages that animate as you flip through them as if it were a physical magazine. The reading experience for articles is also excellent, with a clean, well-formatted view with easy-to-read text. Flipboard allows saving to Pocket, Instapaper, and Readability. Content is sharable through the most popular social networks including Google Plus. One thing that really annoys me about Flipboard is the panel limitation. If you subscribe to many channels like me, you will soon discover a box that says you have more sources available for viewing. They can be viewed, but not in the same elegant manner as the other sources. It causes the continuity of the app design to break. Since the app’s design is probably its greatest strength, I consider this a major flaw.
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Why I’m Ditching Instapaper in Favor of Pocket

Screen Shot of Pocket Web Service (

Pocket is the redesigned and rebranded version of the Read It Later Service that I have recently fallen in love with. I have used the Instapaper service for years and have been very happy with it. I even paid the $5 for the Instapaper iPhone app, which I think by the way is much too expensive. Before Read It Later became Pocket, Instapaper was the superior service, but now the tables have turned.

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GroupMe: The Finest Group Messaging Platform for the Power User

GroupMe App on iPhone in Hand

GroupMe is a simple-to-use yet powerful group messaging and conference calling service, complete with smartphone apps available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and most recently, Windows Phone 7. The service excels both in its simplicity and its compatibility. In fact, it is not even necessary for the user to have a smartphone; good old standard SMS text messaging will suffice. Gizmodo identified GroupMe as a “life changer” and it truly is. The uses for GroupMe are inexhaustible and have ranged from facilitating family communication to managing college study groups to stopping crime. Despite the growing number of stories about how people have been using GroupMe, very few of them have made mention of GroupMe’s advanced features, and consequently they seem to go unnoticed. These features however, are one of the many reasons why I am proud to call myself a GroupMe “Groupie”.

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