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Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:25 am PT (01:25 pm ET)

Facebook debuts new 'Paper' reading app, Carrot Fit brings snarky weight tracking to iOS

Social networking giant Facebook is set to give users a new way to explore and discover content both on and off the service with its upcoming Paper app, while Carrot Fit aims to help users lose weight with what the company calls a 'sadistic' approach.



Paper



Paper presents stories from the user's Facebook news feed as well as outside sources in a sparse, gesture-based user interface reminiscent of the Flipboard newsreader. Content is segregated into themed sections — the news feed is first, and users can mix-and-match other sections with topics like photography and sports.

The app provides a WYSIWYG, or what-you-see-is-what-you-get, interface for posting content. The preview that users see on screen reflects exactly what the post will look like when viewed in Paper by others.

Facebook's photo and video viewing experience has also received an overhaul in Paper. Videos will automatically play in full-screen mode, and users can pan around large photos by tilting their iPhone.

Paper will be available as a free, iPhone-only download from the U.S. App Store on Feb. 3.



Carrot Fit



Carrot Fit is a simple weight-tracking application that either admonishes or rewards users based on whether they have gained or lost weight since their last check-in. The app leverages text-to-speech functionality and will give users audible feedback — those who have lost weight may hear that they "could be a part-time model," for instance, while those whose scale reading has increased might hear that they are "starting to affect the Earth's orbit around the Sun."

Users can enter their weight once each day. The app will allow users to set weigh-in reminders, and milestones can be shared on social media.

In addition, Carrot Fit provides basic graphs for tracking weight trends over time. Users can also set a weight loss goal or calculate their body mass index from within the app.

Carrot Fit version 1.0 is available now as a $1.99, 6.6-megabyte download from the App Store.