Taptu for iPad: Social News Feed Reader – Needs Noise Reduction

The New York Times/bit.ly News.me for iPad news app didn’t fit my news reading needs. Flipboard and Zite provide interesting mixes of tradtional news sources as well as new curated by the people you follow on Twitter and friend on Facebook. One of my recent favorites for news reading is, surprisingly, Microsoft’s Bing for iPad search app’s news component. But, the news fiend in me wanted to see other iPad apps with a social news curation bent to it. Two that were suggested to me are Hitpad and Taptu.

I took a look at Taptu first.

Taptu 1.4.1

Taptu combines conventional news feeds as well as social network feeds from Twitter and Facebook. You might be able to note from my screenshot that I couldn’t get the Twitter feed to work with Taptu. I contacted Taptu and let them know about the problem. They said that some people were able to work around it by logging out of Twitter, deleting the feed, re-adding it, and re-logging it. I tried doing this to no avail. Taptu is looking into the problem. Their Facebook link worked fine. However, it did not filter out non-link status updates from ones with links in it. The result is a noisy row with little news information.

Feeds from news sites were more useful. Tapping on a news item rectangle exposes a reading area in the lower half of the iPad’s display. I like the ability slide from story to story without returning to the row of news items. You can share any news item via Twitter, Facebook or email.

Putting the Twitter issue to the side for now, I found the Facebook feed to be too noisy to be useful as social network curated news source. The app could benefit from some small graphical interface design changes like less white space between news boxes in a category row and larger fonts in those boxes.