Have you ever looked at Twitter trending topics or Google Trends and wondered who the heck is that or what in the world are these people talking about? I do that every single day! HitPad explains those trending topics by giving you the relevant news, tweets, videos, pictures and web links about them. Don't ever feel left out again.
What is it?
Hitpad, Free, iPad. Hitpad is your explainer for all things going on in the world, or well all things going on in the world according to the Internet. On the left side bar, Hitpad will show you what's trending today, options to find out what's trending in different categories (Tech, Sports, etc) and even a search bar to find out more about a topic you care about. The rest of the app is divided into pretty columns relevant to that trend: news, tweets, videos, web and photos.
Hitpad does all the grunt work of determining what is trending using a formula (that presumably combines twitter, search trends, videos, etc) that seems to work pretty well. Once you hit a trending topic, you get "bite-sized" info to get an idea of why they're in the news. Tapping those headlines gives you the lede to a news article and if you want to read the whole thing, it'll pop up in Hitpad's in-app browser. Alternatively, you can share the link via Twitter or Facebook or save for later reading to Instapaper (nice!).
It's a really fun and engaging way to keep up with what's going on.
Who's it good for?
People who like to stay up to date with the world. People who are confused about who the people people are talking about are. People who like to read about stuff.
Why's it better than alternatives?
Twitter used to have an explainer about the trending topics but then they stopped (probably realising how hard it is to describe some of those crazy hashtags that pop up at night). You could do a Google search yourself on the topics but it's not displayed as neatly, a Wikipedia search might not be as current to why they're trending
How could it be even better?
It uses Google juice for most of the articles which means there's some crappy sites like Bleacher Report that pop up every now and again. It'd be really great if we could banish sites we don't like forever from the app. The one sentence description about the trending topic isn't always right (and often has the wrong picture). There's no option to save your favourite topics, which would be super helpful to see what people are saying about it.
Hitpad for iPad [iTunes]