the Hitpad iPad app.
Hitpad is a terrific visual way to quickly see what's hot. It offers six categories of news: top stories, entertainment, business, sports, technology and the ever-important Canadian news. (Yeah, I don't spend a lot of time on that last one.)
When you select one of those main categories you'll see the the subtopics within them that are trending today. Touch any of those subtopics and Hitpad displays columns with the latest news, tweets, videos, websites and photos related to that trending topic. It's the iPad user interface at its finest. Facebook, Twitter and Instapaper support are all built in, of course.
My one complaint about Hitpad is that the main categories are pre-defined and can't be changed. So if you want to add a new main category you're out of luck. It also doesn't offer personalized recommendation content like Zite, so I find myself using both. The Hitpad developers include a link to what they're working on for the next version though (nice touch!) and it includes saved searches and better personalized content support. I can't wait.
Hitpad is yet another one of those wonderful free apps. Perhaps they're just trying to hook us now and planning to charge for an update later. That's OK with me. I'd gladly pay $4.99 for this one. Do yourself a favor though and get it now while it's free!