Best New iPad Apps: Ditch YouTube for watching videos, read news & search across multiple websites

August 30, 2013

Watch personalized videos with rabt

Here’s something for video lovers – a new iPad app which serves up videos based on what you’ve watched before.

This, as you might note, isn’t exactly unique. YouTube does something similar with YouTube Recommendations (albeit with mixed results in my experience) but the new rabt (pronounced “rabit”) app is different.

The start-up, based out of New York and Greece, lets users select from a database of over 500 videos. The videos are initially selected by the firm’s team of curators and are then customized for individuals based on how they react to the videos they’ve watched (you can select if you like videos by pressing the green or red rabbit).

After going through a short tutorial you’ll see an assortment of photographs which you have to tap on so the app can work out your tastes and interests. So for example, the app will show images of a party and someone biking outdoors, and you’ll have to determine which one “best expresses your interests.”

Rabt (free, iTunes) serves up 60 minutes of video each day with most of these averaging around three minutes in length. Videos start off straight away but you can skip them by tapping the green and red rabbits and you can change video category at the bottom of the screen.

There are options to share videos via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email. You can even play videos via AirPlay on your Apple TV.

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Stronger Reach: A hub for all your news

I came across Stronger Reach (free, iTunes) this week and thought it would be a useful inclusion for those of you still missing the now-defunct Google Reader.

The iPad app is essentially a RSS reader, bringing in over 2,000,000 articles from 105,000 sources and across areas like technology, social media, politics, health, finance and Fortune 1000 companies. You can search for articles by keywords for companies, contacts and topics.

One thing you’ll notice from the off though is that Stronger Reach isn’t exactly blessed with the most fluid touch control or beautiful user interfaces – just two problems I have with some tablet apps.

Stronger Reach looks more like a desktop database app but that doesn’t really hinder its usability. After going through a rather labored tutorial guide, you’ll notice that you can add your desired terms for contacts, companies and topics, and add specific keywords for searches with the keyboard manager.

Furthermore, you can peruse news articles in a list, limit articles as coming from certain new sources and share via your social networks or email. You can also dive into content through a tag cloud which shows all your companies.

Search across different websites with Phlo

Phlo is a tidy little iPad app ($2.99, iTunes) which is really useful for searching for content across different websites.

Available for both the iPhone and iPad, the universal iOS app is very easy to work. On launching the app you’ll see a sidebar for Google Web, Google Images, Bing Web, Amazon, Digg, Reddit, Wikipedia and more and to the left a search bar at the top and recent search history just below.

You simply enter your search into the search bar and designate your chosen website from the drop-down list. Handily when you change web sources it will automatically search for your term.

You can share your results with social media outlets, your browser, via email or iMessage.

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