Zite, the newsreading startup acquired last year by CNN, is launching its Android app today.
Co-founder Mike Klaas demonstrated the app for me earlier this week. The interface and features should be pretty familiar to anyone using the previous versions. You enter your Facebook or Twitter information, then Zite brings up a stream of stories that are likely to interest you. You can improve the app’s understanding of your tastes by hitting the thumbs up or down button for each article. And you can import your account if you’ve already set one up on a different device. (Klaas says there’s a fair amount of overlap between iPhone and iPad users, but he’s not sure whether that’ll be the same with Android — “The question is, what tablet do Android users use?”)
The new app integrates with Android’s sharing features, making it possible to hit one button and share via pretty much any method or social network you want.
For a relatively small company, Zite has been moving pretty quickly onto new devices. It launched on the iPad, then released its iPhone app in December of last year. Flipboard, on the other hand, has a larger team (Klaas says Zite runs as a largely independent unit inside CNN and currently has 11.5 full-time employees) and is currently available only for the iPad and iPhone.
Klaas says that one of Zite’s advantages is that “although we try to have a really good, clean UI, that’s not the value proposition.” Instead, Zite’s focus is on searching far and wide across the Web for news stories, and delivering genuinely personalized content — technology that carries over onto any platform.
You can download the Android app here.