We introduced you to Hitpad when it launched at the Techonomy3 conference in Israel earlier this year. Now the app, which is designed to give you a smartly auto-curated overview of current news stories, has been updated with new features to make it more personal to you.
Hitpad works by identifying current ‘trending’ news stories across a number of topics. You can then view written stories, photographs, videos and social content for each story. Previously, you’ve had to rely on Hitpad’s automatically generated decisions on what news makes it into the app, but not any more.
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Now saved searches mean that you can save any topic or free-text search to a new “My Favorites” category. This alows you to keep tabs on topics you’re interested in, as well as just what’s trending.
The other big new feature is the ability to ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ topics. Over time, this will ‘train’ Hitpad to learn your interests, customising the content it displays according to your tastes. ReadItLater support is also added in the latest version.
The result of the update is that Hitpad is now something of a Google News-style experience, mixing automated news curation with customisable features. It’s not quite perfect yet, though – the interface could be a little cleaner. At present it all feels a little cramped, especially when using the app in portrait mode.
Still, Hitpad has been, er, a hit for the Israeli team behind it. Founder and CEO of the startup, Jay Meydad says that the app has seen “Hundreds of thousands” of downloads and high user ratings, as well as being chosen as iPad App of The Week in 60 stores. Hitpad can be found on the Apple Ap Store here.