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Zite reaches Android, underscores app gap with iPad

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

Zite comes to Android at last

Zite on Thursday released a long-expected port of its curated reading app (Google Play). Like the iOS version, it lets users pick from popular categories of Internet news to get news and sites optimized for mobile. Its navigation is similar to the iPhone's and uses a carousel of categories at the top with sideways swipes to change sections.

The CNN-owned app can draw on Google Reader and Twitter for links to sites outside of what's provided by Zite itself, along with its own auto-suggestion tool. Readers can share content out over social networks up to and including Google+.

Using the app requires at least Android 2.1.

While still early, the release contrasts sharply with that of the iOS version. From the start, the iPad version was optimized for its native screen size, with a more immediate view of articles and categories. It's unclear why Zite isn't optimized for Android tablets, but its current form follows a pattern like that of Twitter and Yelp, where Android tablets just stretch out the existing content.

Google mobile VP Andy Rubin's approach to tablets has been partly blamed for the difference. He has typically argued that there should be no such thing as a tablet-only app and has wanted developers to use Android's fragments interface to build phone apps that properly scale to tablet size. To that effect, however, Google Play has also had no proper way to find tablet-native Android apps, hiding many of them in the process. [Android tablet image via Android Central]

Zite on Android





Zite on iPad



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +6

    Cheap and cheery

    And Fandroids wonder why users won't pay for Android apps.
    There's your explanation.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -8

    garbage...

    While still early, the release contrasts sharply with that of the iOS version...It's unclear why Zite isn't optimized for Android tablets, but its current form follows a pattern like that of Twitter and Yelp, where Android tablets just stretch out the existing content.

    Maybe it's because they just started work on it. Or the developers are lazy. Heck, Apple has some apps that not only don't have an iPad version, they're not even available on the iPad (calculator, clock, stocks, weather) or aren't designed for the iPad (apple store app) and so do the same thing as mentioned here. Oh, and there are many other apps that haven't been 'optimized' for the iPad.

    But why quibble, I'm sure on the iOS side it's just lazy developers or no need to do that. On the Android side, it's about the limitations of the platform!

    Google mobile VP Andy Rubin's approach to tablets has been partly blamed for the difference. He has typically argued that there should be no such thing as a tablet-only app and has wanted developers to use Android's fragments interface to build phone apps that properly scale to tablet size.

    He's 100% in one sense. Having tablet specific apps is just plain stupid. Having to download two separate apps, one for your phone or ipod, one for your ipad, is idiotic, not to mention leaves it to the user to know there's an ipad version at all (if they got the iPhone version) or an iPhone version (if they got the iPad version). They just might assume there's only one version and it doesn't work/not optimized on the other.

    Whether they should act the same? That's a different argument. It is annoying on how different some apps are between their brethren, as then you have two UIs to remember and work with.

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