With Google Reader fading into the sunset in July, more and more users are looking to replace its functionality. Zite for iOS (free) has some solutions that should please many news hounds. The app was originally born out of a desire to replace Google Reader with something that learned your interests and had a more compelling display. In a new release, available today, Zite is trying to go further to embrace what's good in Google Reader and add some bells and whistles.
First, Zite has increased the prominence of sources. Those sources now appear in a topic drawer after you mark an article that you like. Another welcome feature is that articles grey out ofter you read them. One of the best additions is the ability to highlight sources that are obscure. Google Reader always had a bit of a signal to noise problem because the volume of feeds could overwhelm some of the smaller sources. Zite fixes that and will aggressively display more obscure content that you like.
Zite has also made setting up the app easier for new users. There are on-screen guides and built-in tips that explains how Zite works and what you can expect.
There are some subtle interface changes as well this time around, and some new sponsored sources have been added.
I've found Zite a frequent and preferred stop for my news browsing on iOS. What I'd really like to see is a Mac app that gets me the same content so I'm covered on my desktop and laptop. I'm told this is under consideration and I hope to see it sooner rather than later.
Zite is a universal app and requires iOS 6 or later.