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The 5 Best iPad Apps For Consuming The News That’s Important To You

With the recent release of the iPad 2, the Apple App Store is swarming with new and updated apps tailored for interactive news consumption. Some of the most compelling news apps are those that take a familiar concept–such as the simple act of reading a newspaper–and adapt it to the iPad’s unique platform. These are the apps that remind us that reading the news can be a fun and social experience. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Instapaper

Though many of us may spend all day on our computers, we don’t always have the time we want to devote to reading the interesting news stories that crop up throughout the day. Luckily, Instapaper exists for just this reason. The easy-to-use “Read Later” bookmarklet allows you to keep track of and aggregate all the stories you want to return to later, effectively allowing you to create your own personalized, well… instant paper. The iPad app easily integrates with the articles you’ve saved through your browser so that you can read through them at your own leisure. With version 3.0.2, updated just last week, the app boasts plenty of impressive capabilities including offline dictionary integration, a built-in web browser, and full-featured, native sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

2. Flipboard

Glance once at Flipboard’s innovative UI and it’s not hard to see why its initial release last year caused quite a stir in the online journalism community. Flipboard is a fully customizable news app that pulls in articles from your favorite news organizations or specified beats and makes them look like a fresh-off-the-printer glossy magazine. This app is just plain beautiful, and as Wired put it back in December, Flipboard turns “web noise into iPad gold.” And with Google Reader integration, keeping up with your favorite blogs has never been so aesthetically pleasing.

3. SkyGrid

With a nonstop 24-hour news cycle, it can be difficult to stay on top of real time, breaking news. SkyGrid’s iPad app aims to make this task much easier, particularly when it comes to the news you care about. The app’s patented algorithm scavenges the web for the stories that are spreading the fastest worldwide, culling them into easily customizable categories. By enabling notifications, the app will also alert you with real time updates on any topic you designate.

4. Pulse News Reader

Designed by two Stanford students frustrated with the look and feel of mobile news apps, Pulse uses the iPad’s sleek design to display the news you care about in an elegant way. The app culls stories from your favorite blogs and websites and pieces them into a visually stunning mosaic of photos and text, with simple swipe functionality and built in sharing capabilities.

5. Taptu

Originally a player in the social search market, UK-based Taptu has pivoted to focus more on social news consumption. Their newest app, released just last week, takes the concept of mashing up your own music library and applies it to the way you read by inviting you to “DJ your news.” By using their StreamStudio, Taptu allows you to integrate news, social networks and more into an unlimited number of easily-navigable streams. As their CEO writes, “We’ve aimed to make your life less complicated and solve filter failure by putting all of your interests in one place.”

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