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Smartr cuts through clutter of Twitter feeds

Saturday, February 12, 2011; 2:59 PM

Taking a knife to teeming tweets

Sifting through your Twitter feed can be overwhelming at the best of times, as your friends and others you follow share what they're reading, doing and thinking about. Smartr, a free app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, offers a respite from all that noise.

Designed to let Twitter act as your news feed, the elegant Smartr edits out white noise posts such as Foursquare check-ins and shows users previews of the articles that are being linked, as opposed to the commentary. (Those who miss the Twitter chatter can toggle between Twitter and Smartr views.) Articles appear in the feed by headline, with the option of clicking in-app for a closer look. Four simple buttons at the top let you tweet, filter your timelines by list, save articles and customize your settings. Below-the-feed buttons let you reply, retweet and favorite tweets, and offer sharing options.

Smartr does have its limitations, and can't replace your normal Twitter client. The app can lag at times, particularly while it's grabbing new tweets. And it leaves out some basic Twitter features - for example, you can't look at replies to your tweets or your direct messages, or even see those items in their own feed.

In short, Smartr the perfect app for those who use Twitter as a news feed and not as a social tool.

- Hayley Tsukayama

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