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 iPad