DesignScene for iPad Is the 21st Century Muse

Apps for consuming web content on the iPad have largely shaken down into two categories: dedicated apps for individual sites and RSS readers populated with a users' selected feeds. DesignScene is something else entirely: a prepackaged bundle of all-things design.

It bills itself as "a real-time inspiration app for graphic designers drawing from myriad relevant sources," but it'll appeal to anyone interested in design, whether that means reading through Design Observer blog posts or just flicking through assorted images on Ffffound. It's part photo browser and part RSS reader, but by virtue of being both those things it's something more than them, too: it's the rare app that focuses on a single genre of content rather than a single model of presentation. Which is cool!

Six panels containing images from some 50 sites comprise the "visual" part of the app. Each panel is vaguely related—infographics, packaging, graphic design, etc—and can be flicked through on the app's main screen or jumped into for full screen viewing. The right side of the main screen shows an RSS-like list of aggregated posts from a collection of over 30 sites. In both cases, with the images and the text, the full post can be accessed with an in-app browser.

For those who are on top of their RSS game, $4 might seem a little steep for what is essentially a well-designed, dedicated (but therefore uncustomizable) RSS reader. But the idea of having a well-packaged portal into a single type of content—aggregating sites on a more local scale—is an interesting one, one that's particularly well suited for the iPad. [DesignScene]