Best New iPad Apps: Read world news, organize holiday plans & submit stories on Reddit

by Doug Drinkwater

July 19 2013

Track 180 is a novel way of reading news

Last week I spotted a unique iPad app for reading – or rather watching news – and here’s another in the form of the Track180 app.

Now on version 1.5, Track 180 says that the app (free, iTunes) is for “exploring global issues like never before”.

The style of Track180 is similar to Google+. Stories are organized into moving circles and there’s the option to dive into special areas (like technology or politics) by tapping the menu button in the top right corner.

The main article has a picture and headline, both of which are accompanied by various articles on the same matter around the outside. You can also slide through a timeline on the left-hand side to see how a story has developed.

This can however be somewhat deceiving. For example, the story on the Boston bomber appearing in the Rolling Stone magazine had a timeline for ‘freedom of the press’ although you could change this to articles on ‘terrorism’ by sliding the dial on the image of the main story.

In addition, you can star articles as favorites although you’ll need to sign-up for Track 180 via Facebook, Twitter or email to do this.

Grid is a neat personal task manager

You most likely use Evernote, OneNote or perhaps FileMaker’s Bento for organizing on-goings in your personal or professional life, but a new arrival in that space is Grid from Binary Thumb.

Having launched earlier this week, the Grid iPad app (free, iTunes) aims to be a place where you can store projects and plan, organize notes and photos and even track people or places.

After opening the app, you’ll be guided through a short tutorial and then be asked to sign up to Grid in order to make new grids and to share them with friends via email.

Creating these notes and lists is pretty easy. You have to hold the grid, pull down to increase the size and then pull up to designate if you want to add a note, a photo or a location.

You can press and hold to move tiles around and double-tap to preview a note. One particularly hand feature is the ability to call contacts within the app.

Grid isn’t perfect – the app crashed once and you seemingly can’t edit notes after you’ve created them – but it’s a handy free tool if you’re looking to create and share short-term plans, like holiday arrangements.

Submit and view stories on Reddit with Ruby

Reddit users with an iPad are probably familiar with the Alien Blue app but a handy new Reddit iOS client called Ruby also launched this week.

Sporting a minimalist but clear design, Ruby (free, iTunes) lets you do everything you can do on Reddit normally, like search for current stories, submit link and text stories and view and add comments.

You can log-in to Ruby by using the button at the bottom of the settings screen and after this you’ll be able to see stories by what’s hot, controversial and new.

There’s also the ability to subscribe, unsubscribe or simply view subreddits, while upgrading to the Pro mode (which costs $1) will let you access dark mode for night-time reading, remove iAds and choose from 12 custom fonts.

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  • Ed Natera
    1 year 4 months ago

    Doug - great write-up on Track180! One of the key features of Track180 is the ability to see the impact and reach a story has across other topics and themes. For example, the Boston Bomber appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine was covered from a Freedom of the Press angle with the discussion being framed around the varying perspectives on that issue. The Boston Bomber story is also relative to Terrorism, which is why it appears on that Trackline as well with news content relative to and in the context of Terrorism. It is this ability to contextualize information that makes the Track180 platform a powerful tool for people to better understand what is going on in the world and not have to rely on single source news or spend a lot of time to gain that understanding.

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