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Zite for iPad—born in Vancouver through research at UBC and now owned by CNN—is one of those “best of breed” apps that makes keeping up with the news nearly painless. Except if you have lots of people using your iPad. So while you might be interested in all things Mac your spouse might what to keep up with all things knitting (which is what it would be in my house) and having those two interests in Zite can be a little annoying. Especially if, for example, you read some things of shared interest and keep giving thumbs up and thumbs down to the same content. Zite feels your pain and has created a simple solution: user profiles.
You’d think that this would be an obvious solution, but very few iOS apps (especially iPad apps) account for the fact that lots of people share iPads and might actually want to read different things on it. Since iOS doesn’t support “users”, most apps seem to follow suit—a lacking feature I think, like who wants to come back to Angry Birds and find that someone else has beat all the levels ahead of you—but the folks at Zite saw the problem and have a simple and elegant solution.
On the Top Stories screen there is a new Profile menu and after you update the app you’ll be able to connect your current settings to a new profile or connect to an existing one. After that, everyone who uses the iPad can create their own profile and get their own profile.
I tried to go through this process and hit a couple snags.
First I tried to create a profile and it turned out I had one (under that email address) and hitting the Delete/Logout button is a little scary (even for those of us you are used to these things—I’ve spent a long time curating and teaching Zite about what I like to read), so I could then login to my existing account—since it seemed that I had one—of course I didn’t remember the password so I reset it. Armed with my new password I’ve been trying to log in, but it looks between the coverage in TNW and CNET and everyone trying to set up accounts—their servers have melted down.
I’m sure that by this afternoon things will be back to normal—come on I just want to read the news!—and things will be just ducky.
If you haven’t tried Zite for iPad you really should, I’ve found that it has reduced my need for pouring through my RSS reader by more than half. Now if they’d just make the app for iPhone (which user accounts should pave the way for) I’d be in Nerdnewsvana.