I’ve been a huge fan of magazine style apps ever since the release of Flipboard, followed by Pulse, and then Zite. These apps pull articles from around the net based either upon your specific topical interests, designated RSS feeds, and/or your Twitter and Facebook timelines.
The design, layout and presentation of content in these apps take full advantage of the iPad’s size, orientation, and tactile features. Using the finger gestures, you literally flip through articles like you would in an actual paper magazine.
All three iPad magazine apps have similar features, but each has something unique that might cause you to use all three. In this article I share some of the best new features in these apps, and explain why you might download one or all of them to your iPad.
Flipboard was the first magazine style app for the iPad. It pulls popular content for all types of topics you select, including entertainment, sports, travel, news and business.
If you are a heavy Twitter or Facebook user, you will simply love how the content of your social networking feeds are displayed in this application. Flipboard turns your link-based tweets for example into actual articles.
You can even select to view your own tweets, your timeline, your Twitter lists, and even your selected favorites. So basically Flipboard can be your Twitter iPad client as you browse in the app.
The newest feature added to Flipboard is improved Twitter and Google integration, which allows you to post tweets, notes, and attachments directly to your Twitter timeline or Google Reader account, which saves you the trouble of opening separate applications for these postings.
While you can’t add specific RSS feeds to Flipboard, you can search for any site and link to its content.
Pulse is more of a RSS feed reader for both the iPad and iPhone. Unlike Flipboard and Zite, Pulse does not select articles for you, or pull content from your social network streams. With Pulse however you can have pages and pages of feed articles displayed in columns. You can slide each column to the left and scan preview summaries of downloaded content.
When you select an article, it opens in Reader-only format, minus distracting ads and other abstruse content.
The best and unique feature for Pulse is the ability to select and save articles to your .me Pulse account. All your saved content can be synced between your other iOS device, as well as your online Pulse account.
As with the two other magazine apps, Pulse integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Mail, but not with Instapaper.
Zite creates magazine content based on broad topics you select, including fashion, entrepreneurship, health and exercise, travel tips, pets, social media, and the like. You cannot add RSS feeds directly to your Zite collection. It pulls popular content based on topics you select.
However, Zite’s newest update allows you to connect to your other bookmarking and news service accounts, including Twitter, Google Reader, Delicious, and Read It Later.
Zite will build magazine content from the services, but it will not include all the articles that get added to say your Google Reader account.
Zite attempts to learn what you like based on the type of articles, topics, and sources you choose. You can directly tell it which type of content you want to see more of.
Another unique and new feature that Zite offers is the ability to have multiple profiles in the application. This means that if you share your iPad with someone else, he or she can create a magazine of their own selected content, separate from yours.
Let us know what you like about these iPap magazine style readers. If you’re looking for alternatives to these apps, check 4 Flipboard Alternatives for Your Computer If You Don’t Own An iPad.