Zite, the “intelligent magazine” that presents readers with news articles based on their personal interests, is releasing a big update to its Android app today. It’s also launching an app for Google Glass.
CEO Mark Johnson stopped by the TechCrunch office to show us the new products. Since you still need an invite to purchase Google Glass, and since it costs $1,500, Johnson admitted that he doesn’t expect Zite to find a huge user base on that platform, at least not right away. Instead, he sees it as an experiment to try to figure out what the news consumption looks like on wearable devices.
“I really see a revolution coming in wearables,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure we understand what users want.”
So the initial app is just a way to browse headlines, but Johnson suggested there could be many new features in the future. For one thing, Zite could add other types of notifications.
The Android update, meanwhile, is the first to include the Zite 2.0 redesign that the company launched on iPhone and iPad late last year (and tweaked in February). In addition to the new design, the updated app includes some Android-specific features, like the ability to add a Zite widget to your homescreen and integration with Samsung’s S-Pen.
Beyond the specific product launches, Zite is also coming up on the two-year anniversary of its acquisition by CNN. During our conversation, I noticed that Johnson continued to refer to his team as a startup, and when I asked about it, he pointed out that he’s the only CEO at CNN.
“It’s really a symbolic move in some ways, but it’s a signal both inside and outside the company that the buck stop here, that I still own what comes out of the company,” Johnson said.
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