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App of the week: Taptu

Sticking with my news reader obsession, this week I take a look at Taptu, a free news, Google Reader and social media aggregation app that has caught my attention over the past few days.

As I mentioned last week when reviewing the Reeder app, I am a news junkie and actually have to stop myself from refreshing my Google Reader tab every five minutes. I have my favourite sites that I read every day, which I think add value to my life. Be it humour, tech news, sport updates, music blogs or movie reviews, it is content that I enjoy and content that I trust. I call it my daily check, and it keeps me sane.

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But routine can get a bit boring and I find myself looking to add to that collection every now and again, just to get a fresh perspective on the subject or get involved in a new topic of interest. This is where I run into difficulty. With so many blogs and sites out there on absolutely every topic imaginable, I end up spending way too much time on terrible sites that aren’t frequently updated, finding one good site for every ten that I visit.

What you want in front of you
Taptu, an app that I stumbled upon over the weekend, has solved this problem for me. It is a beautifully designed and highy intuitive social news feed reader that puts all of the content that you’re interested in into one place. You can add anything to the app: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your favourite blogs and feeds, and you can link it to your Google Reader account too. The app then organizes all of these feeds into awesome visual streams that can be customized to your personal preferences.

So that solves the problem of all your news (and social media updates) in one place. What about the new content that we all crave from time to time? This is where Taptu really impresses me; the Streamstore.

Simply tap the add button and Taptu displays a selection of featured feeds like Cool Hunting and Wired, topics like news, sports, entertainment and business, and your Google Reader, where you can sign in and add streams that you already follow (it’s limited to 30 at the moment, so I’m sticking with Reeder for this).

They’ve found the good stuff

What I like most about the Streamstore is the topics section. The team at Taptu has covered basically every interesting topic under the sun, and has also created specially focused feeds within each category that they curate on your behalf. You simply add them to your Taptu account and they’re constantly updated with news from the most prominent sites in that category.

The social media integration is also very well done on Taptu. Simply add the Facebook (Twitter and LinkedIn are also supported) feed from the streamstore, allow Taptu to access your profile and just like that, all your social media news feed activity is pulled in and displayed as visual stream.

From a design and user interface perspective, Taptu does not disappoint. The visual streams are elegantly and functionally designed to include a picture and a blurb (this can be modified by the user though) and you simple swipe left or right on the feed to scroll through the different articles. Upon clicking an article, Taptu displays the story full screen and again, you simply swipe left and right to read the other articles in the category. From this view you can bookmark the articles, email the link, post it to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, send it to Instapaper or view it in Safari.

The only problem I’ve run into so far is that when you add a number of streams, the app seems to slow down quite considerably. This could be due to the connection speed that you’re on at that point in time and that it is constantly updating the feeds but I’m sure we’ll see an improvement in the next update.

All in all, Taptu is a really great app to have your iPhone and I’m sure it’ll be even better on an iPad. For all the features that it packs in, it’s a wonder that this app is free. Get it now, before they put a price on it.

Name: Taptu
Publisher: Taptu Limited
Category: News
Price: Free
Size: 13.7 MB

Available for iPhone & iPad, available for Android

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