You can switch between the Explore section and your newspaper by opening a slide-out menu in the upper left, but there are a few other options here for finding topics you care about. A search button lets you enter search terms to find all the associated stories on the Web, Facebook, and Twitter. But here's the interesting part: Thirst uses what it calls a "social language processor." This means you can type in slang terms like "Yeezy," for example, and Thirst knows that you're looking for stories about Kanye West. This also means shortened words commonly found on Twitter (to save space) are also read and understood by Thirst, so it has the capability to scour even the strangest "social speak" to match your search.
There's a social aspect to Thirst too. When you choose a category, you're brought to a page of the most recent headlines with buttons across the top for picking between News, Discuss, Chatter, or Info. Discuss lets you view interactions with other Thirst users, so you can have a discussion about events with other people that share your interests. Chatter shows you the latest Twitter posts on a topic so you can quickly comment or reply using your Twitter account. You also have the option to post stories or comments to either Twitter or Facebook from within the app. At the time of this review, there are only a handful of users, so there is very little discussion, but it's once live to the public, discussion is likely to become a major part of news browsing.
One feature I would like is the ability to find other users with similar interests. It seems like a no-brainer with the data this app must collect, so it seems like it would be an easy feature to add.
Thirst is obviously not the first news reader for iOS devices, but it might be the best yet. Thirst learns as you browse, displays content in categories for easy consumption, and lets you join in on the discussion with others. If you're looking for a new way to catch up on hot topics or content that interests you, Thirst is one of the best apps I've seen yet for iOS.