Out of Israel comes HitPad, providing you with "rich bite-size information snippets about the important and worth-knowing topics of the day so you become current in no time and with very little effort." – that's a bit of a mouthful, their words, not mine.
HitPad was launched today at the Technonomy conference in Tel Aviv and would seem to be a rival to other news apps on the iPad such as Flipboard, and The Daily.
HitPad presents you with global trending news stories and shows headlines from sources such as Google, Twitter, Youtube, and Bing.
You can choose the type of news the app shows but it is very limited. For example, when I clicked to view the trending sports topics, I was presented with stories about Los Angeles Dodgers (who I presume are a baseball team?), Tiger Woods (I know him), New Jersey Devils (I have no idea), Shaquille O'Neal (basketball player, I believe), University of Connecticut (eh?), and Sidney Crosby (never heard of him). I'm not American. And I have no interest in basketball or baseball.
For me, the news wasn't news that I cared about.
I endured a similar experience when I clicked through to view all the trending entertainment news. Breaking Dawn? Miranda Lambert? Lady GaGA?
I don't see much point of presenting me with news that I find irrelevant and especially news that I can't customize. Apparently the app grows to learn about your reading habits and interests and will then tailor news for you. But that's a bit of an oxymoron. How can the app show me better content if I can't find much relevant content in the first place?
The app is getting quite a bit of praise for its interface, but to me it's poorly contrived. I find it hard to focus on any of the content in the columns. In order to fit in as much content as possible, the headlines for the news stories have to make due in an excessively tight area that results in a very cluttered look. It's not very readable – poor for a news app where ease of reading should be priority number 1 after relevancy (priority number 2).
We're living in an age where it's possible for all us to control the news we read. HitPad doesn't seem to think so though. If you want to keep up to date on news in general then HitPad is for you. Whoever you may be.