Even though Apple’s iPad was released over two years ago, with sales reaching over 25 million worldwide, I still come across people who think the device is nothing more than a glorified larger iPhone without the phone.
I respond – yes it is, and that’s what makes it so awesome. The iPad in many ways works best as a digital magazine in which you flip through “pages” of multimedia content. It is magazine style apps like Groovebug and News.me that make the iPad worth having.
Though these apps have different purposes, they both share an user interface which invites users to browse and interact with their content.
Let’s check out what they have to offer.
Groovebug is a multimedia magazine for music lovers. It is one of the first apps of its kind that enables users to access a compiled collection of music, videos, images, and news on the blogsphere about their favorite bands and artists.
When the app is first installed on your iPad, Groovebug scans your music library and creates a personalized collection of information and sample playlists based on your music tastes. You can also of course, do a search for artists outside your library.
As you “flip through the pages” of a selected artist or band, you get access to a sample of released albums, YouTube concert downloads, biographical information from Wikipedia, and links to similar artists. All this content is streamed from the Internet which means it doesn’t take up space on your iPad.
There’s also “The Latest” page that features links to many online interviews and articles about selected artists. These pages open up in the app’s built-in web browser, so you do not have to leave the application to view the content.
The Featured Content homepage of Groovebug allows you to browse for artists and bands that are not part of your music library, or who may be new to you. While songs can only be sampled, you can purchase music directly from the iTunes Music Store from within the app.
Groovebug makes for a pleasurable browsing experience for music lovers. It brings all the information together that you might want to see about your favorite artists and bands so that you don’t have to browse multiple sites to access it.
At first News.me may appear to be just another RSS feed news application, but it does take a different approach that makes it unique. Unlike Flipboard and Zite, News.me doesn’t preselect articles and other content for you; instead, it links to Twitter and news articles are based on related content that shows up in your Twitter stream. Unlike your regular Twitter stream, News.me provides the headlines and first few paragraphs of the articles so you don’t have to link to the content in a separate web browser.
You can follow individual Twitter users by tapping on their avatar to see what they are reading. This is a pretty interesting approach especially if you follow people who post a lot of interesting news content on their feed, instead of just posting about what they had for lunch today.
Tapping on a story in News.me opens it up (with a sort of newspaper page flipping effect) in a separate page, with mostly the full text, images, and videos downloaded minus the surrounding ads and other distractions. Stories can also be viewed on the original website, and it can also be shared via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Instapaper. In addition, news content can also be read offline.
There’s not much else to News.me; however, if you are a heavy Twitter user you may like how News.me turns your feed into a digital newspaper or magazine for browsing and consumption.
Let us know what you think of Groovebug and News.me, and which similar apps you like to use on your iPad.
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