DATABASES

Zite

Zite zite.com
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Platform iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.OS: iOS 4 or later.The Basics What makes Zite different from the other apps of this type is that, over time, it learns your likes and dislikes. You give your thumbs up or thumbs down to articles, and then the software selects content to display based on your preferences.Look and Feel The main screen of Zite always shows a selection of top news headlines (skewed to your taste) and introductory content. On the right is a category-based table of contents (customizable by you). Dots at the bottom of the screen show where you are in your browsing of a section. The number of dots (or screens) depends on how active the topic is that day. The average number of screens in a section is six.There's an "A" at the top of every article screen that leads to font style and size settings which makes it easy to change the readability of the page—something that other apps don't provide.The power of Zite is on the right side of the screen for each story. Thumbs up and thumbs down images are at the top right, followed by source and subject options. At the bottom right are icons for sharing, favoriting, and reading later.How It Works Keep in mind that Zite hones in on your interests over time. This means that it takes a little work to get Zite to show the content you most want to see (definitely worth it). The way that's done is by reading the news that Zite first populates the app with and then teaching Zite which articles you like and which you don't. Along with the thumbs up and down, it's possible from within each article to tell Zite to show more in the future from a specific source or on specific topics.Unlike some of the other apps covered here, it's not possible to manually add sources and topics not already included in the app. There's search functionality, but that's only for searching for categories that are already part of Zite.For Teachers, Librarians, and Students Teachers and librarians working with students on current events projects will find Zite good for helping students focus on a particular topic, for example, the 2012 presidential election. As a student accesses information from news sources in Zite, he or she can like or dislike articles to zero in on the most useful to them.

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