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Since I don’t have access to an Android device, all of the screenshots below were taken on an iOS device. There will be slight interface differences on an Android phone.
Reading & Sharing
The first thing I noticed about Taptu is the cool comic tutorial that appeared on the first use. This tutorial will tell you the basic usage of the app using beautiful illustrations. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to summon this tutorial again after I started using the app.
If you’ve used other mobile news readers before, you might find similarities in the interface between Taptu and Pulse. The news items are arranged in lines of sources, and each line contains chronologically ordered articles. The unread articles are displayed clearer than the read articles.
If you’ve read all the articles and/or you want to get the latest ones, tap and pull down the main page to refresh all the sources. To refresh individual sources, slide its line to the right and release. The fetching process will depend on your Internet connection speed and the number of news providers that you’ve subscribed to.
Tapping on an article will open it in optimized reading view, eliminating all the page elements except for the first image and the article text. On accelerometer-enabled devices, the layout will adjust itself to the position of your device – landscape or portrait.
As with every other app in this social era, Taptu allows users to easily share articles. Tap the share button at the top right of the page and you are ready to email, tweet, or post the article to Facebook. You can also open the full article in Safari.
Tapping the small Star button next to share will save the article for you to read later (the icon is different on the iPad). Taptu takes a different approach than other mobile news reader in saving articles to be read later. While others rely on “read later” services like Instapaper, Taptu saves the article within the application. When you save an article, a new “Saved” category will appear at the top of the page.
Taptu optimizes the layout of its app based on the device where the app is installed. This is what the reading view looks like on an iPad screen.
You can delete or rearrange the order of categories by tapping the “Edit” button at the top left of the front page. Tap the red button to delete, tap and drag the three small bars on the right to rearrange, and tap the small gear button at the top right page to access the “Settings“.
Adding More Sources
Even though Taptu has included several sources with its app, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add more. Tap the “+Add” button at the top right of the main page to explore available sources or to search and add your preferred feeds.
You can even link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Taptu so you can keep up with all the tweets and friends’ updates while reading other news. If you are an iPad user, you can add Facebook and Twitter directly from Taptu’s main page.
There are lots of sources on the “Featured” tab that you can choose. Adding sources is as easy as tapping the “+” button.
If the source that you want is not featured, you can find it by doing a search.
Another way to find sources is to browse the categories under “Topics“. Some of the general topics – like Architecture or Technology, are curated by Taptu. They are collected from many relevant sources so you don’t have to go through individual sources.
Or if you have curated your own collection over the years and read them using Google Reader, you can easily add your collection by linking your Google Reader account to Taptu.
If you are a news junkie like me, you might want to try Taptu. Some might say that it is not as beautiful as Flipboard, but design is personal taste. Feature-wise, Taptu is on par with other available alternatives out there.
Have you tried Taptu? What do you think about it? Or do you prefer to use your own favorite mobile news feed reader? Share your opinions using the comments below.