Trapit for iPad review: Trapit for iPad

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good With Trapit you can browse the Web just for the keywords and subjects you want. You can train the app to give you quality results.

The Bad Sometimes the app chooses the wrong images, which can be confusing. It takes several taps to get to a story.

The Bottom Line Trapit is a fun and mostly efficient way to find information on subjects that interest you. Instead of searching for stories, you can simply browse the latest news on the topics you like.

Free

8.0 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 10.0
  • Features and Support 8.0
  • Interface 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

Trapit for iPad is a browser you can train to deliver the latest stories based on your interests, but the results aren't always perfect. You train the app by creating "Traps": Web results you get by searching on keywords, then giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on stories so the app can "learn" the type of stories you want. Trapit says the app pulls articles from over 100,000 sources and even if you don't create your own Traps, the app offers featured collections you can browse by category.

You start by entering a keyword or phrase such as "iOS Apps," for example. Trapit quickly searches its sources for related stories, then displays headlines with images you can swipe horizontally to browse. Each story has buttons at the right for sharing with social-networking services, adding the story to the Trapit reading list, saving the story in Evernote or Instapaper, and thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons for accepting or rejecting the story. When you touch a story, your Trap opens up into full-screen view, showing all search results in panels you can swipe through (with the aforementioned controls for the story you're currently focused on). You can touch a panel again to bring it full-screen, then touch Read Full Article to open the story without leaving the app.

While it's a great way to browse stories that interest you, the app has a couple of glitches and disadvantages worthy of mentioning. First, it takes a few too many touches to get to a story. If you start on the My Traps screen, you'll touch the story once to view the full-screen mosaic, touch it again to bring the focused story full-screen, then one more touch to get to the actual story on the Web. While it's not a huge issue, I kept thinking I should be able to open a story faster.

The other drawback is not really the app's fault, but it can be annoying. When the app selects a story for a Trap, it grabs the headline and the first image in the story. Unfortunately, on some Web sites, the first image isn't necessarily about the story, so you'll end up with images that have almost nothing to do with your subject. This is also not a big problem, but can be confusing when you're looking at the larger mosaic view.

Overall, Trapit is a neat way to surf the Web, focusing only on the subjects you want to read. It's a great way to explore a single subject across several Web sites and if you save your Traps you can revisit your interests later to see the latest stories on the subject. If you're a news junkie or just want to explore a particular hobby or topic, Trapit is a great option.

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