Turning inner space into outer space

July 24, 2012

Personalized news app Trapit has far to go to catch up with Zite

Zite has to be the best iPad app ever — I’m constantly amazed at how it continues to find fascinating articles. It does the exploring for me, and comes up with neat stuff every time.

So my thinking is that if Zite is good, then another app similar to Zite would be even better. The closest I’ve been able to find so far is Prismatic, a website that brings articles in categories you choose. It does a pretty good job in this respect, but — unlike Zite — it doesn’t learn.

On the other hand, a new app called Trapit does learn. Give articles thumbs-up and it comes to understand that those are the ones you like, and brings you more of the same — or at least similar.

It’s still early days for Trapit, so it might be harsh to judge its content just yet. Still, the selection of articles for the journalism section is not that good. I have a feeling the developers haven’t made deals with a lot of the better content producers. I found a navel-gazer from the Columbia Journalism Review, but nothing from Poynter — an obvious source.

The interface takes some getting used to. There are lots of tiles and pictures, some of which are animated, and distracting widgets all over the place. Where Zite is simple and elegant, Trapit is complicated and garish.

Plus it keeps crashing. No doubt all those graphics are overtaxing the iPad.

But I’m not ready to delete Trapit just yet. It may simply have been released too early, and is going through some growing pains. I’ll check back from time to time and let you know if Trapit is worth another look.