Afternoon Apptacular Updates Zite, YouTube, and addappt

BY Tris Hussey

Published 5 Dec 2012

Sure iWork got a bunch of sweet updates, but those aren’t the only cool apps with updates this afternoon. My favorite news app Zite got a huge update today with a new look and performance boost, YouTube makes it to the iPad, and new app addappt (pronounced like adapt) is a sweet way to painlessly (and securely) keep your contacts updated.

Zite 2.0

You know how much I love Zite. It’s one of my picks as the best news app and I don’t think anyone who has an iOS device can skip this app (seriously, it’s free folks). On the Zite blog they have the full scoop:

For our current fans, don’t worry: we’ve kept all of the things you love about Zite. Our underlying discovery engine still looks at millions of articles each day and create a magazine unique to you based on your personal interests. You’ll discover interesting articles to read that you would have never found otherwise. And we’ll continue to bring you the best of your favorite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs, and videos.

But today, we’ve made Zite a lot better.

Zite 2.0 is the evolution of Zite from a personalized magazine to an intelligent magazine. In Zite 2.0 we’ve focused on making Zite smarter than ever, introducing discovery at every turn, and designing Zite to be both beautiful and smart.

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The bottom line is that I found the app to be much faster, cleaner, and easier to use. Being able to swipe up or down on a summary to give it thumbs up/thumbs down will certainly let me tune my preferences faster and easier. I skimming through headlines and not opening articles always made me feel like I wasn’t really teaching it what I wanted. I might have already ready 5 posts about an app or update, I don’t need another…but I still want more like it! I didn’t, however I didn’t appreciate having to re-add my Instapaper and Evernote credentials on each device (minor quibble). That said, the system Zite uses to send info back and forth to accounts must be hugely improved because liking something on one device shows up almost immediately on the others. That’s really slick. If you haven’t tried Zite, yet…do it’s worth it.

YouTube (should be 2.0)

Google updated it’s iOS native YouTube app to version, which I think should have been something like 1.5 or 2.0 for all the oomph packed in. Here’s the update from the description page:

What’s New in Version

  • Optimized for iPad and iPhone 5
  • Stream videos with AirPlay
  • Tap logo to open your Guide of channels
  • Add and remove videos from your playlists
  • Clickable links in video descriptions
  • Improved accessibility with VoiceOver

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Nice, finally a solid experience for YouTube. You can get more info from the official YouTube blog post.

Addappt a new way to keep contacts updated

2012 12 04 16 16 39Finally in the cool, new app department is Addappt. This app start up comes from Mrinal Desai (who started remote helping/connection app Crossloop and was an early employee of LinkedIn) with a pretty simple premise: help you keep your address book updated. The app is free and once you download it you need to request an invite in (more on that in a moment). Once in you update all your contact info and then the app checks your address book for other people using addappt and puts them in a “Pending” category. From Pending you can connect with them (like Facebook and LinkedIn idea) and they get all your contact info pushed to them. Here’s the best part, addappt isn’t an app you use every day (though you could), it’s intended to just quietly update info in the background. When Mrinal and I connected my updated info was pushed to his Contacts app and his info to mine.

On the requesting an invite. I think this might raise some eyebrows, since the app is free, so why the gate? I didn’t even have to ask Mrinal…it’s to make sure the experience works. Any time you have an app that also has to sync up with who knows whom and then manage other aspects of connection, you need to manage server resources so things are speedy. You let in too many people at once, and the app bogs down, people then have a bad experience. Simple as that.

I like how simple the app is, I’ll probably check it once and a while to see if I have Pending contacts to approve, but beyond that, I don’t need to touch it. Sarah Perez has some good feedback about managing the info you provide and how that might be tricky since addappt has an “all or nothing” contact sharing.

What do you think? Would an app that helps you keep all your contacts up to date help you or is there a better way?