iRSSmobile – Review

On July 23, 2008

App Type: Uncategorized

iRSSmobile – Review

Our rating:

By: Sebastian Schimansky

Version #: 1

Date Released: 2008-07-23


Price: 3.99

User Rating:

Since upgrading to iPhone firmware 2.0 the only RSS newsreader I have been using is the native NetNewsWire app. I like it a lot and, as I posted last week, it works quite well for me. One of the best aspects of it is the fact the, since I already use NetNewsWire on my Macs there was little or no initial set up. I entered my user information and was good to go. Best of all it is free.

That said, I had been thinking about trying one of the other RSS apps that are available in the App Store and when iRSSMobile appeared last night it caught my eye. What caught my eye? Two things-
-auto-discover Feed Urls
-real Web-Preview

If I were going to move to another RSS app, I didn’t feel the need to type in all of my, quite numerous, RSS feed addresses. "Auto-discover" sounded great since all I would need to do is enter the site’s name. Cool.

After my first pass at weeding out the new RSS feed items I have no interest in reading I often have to go through the cumbersome process of opening a new post and then hitting the "Open In Safari" button if I want to read the entire piece. If I have 30 items to read this process is annoying at best. If I have 100 items to read it is painful. Thus, the idea of being able to see the full post from within the app itself via Real Web-Previews sounded great.

At $3.99 I figured, "Why not?"
I bought the app and fired it up. That went smoothly.
Unfortunately, it was the only smooth thing about it.

The initial screen is plain and ugly. There are no instructions so I click the universal sign for "where do I begin with this app?" the "+" sign.
I am greeted by another plain, ugly screen. Into the space marked "Feed URL" I type "MacWorld". After all, it has an auto-discover feed feature, right? Wrong. It returns- "Error- can’t find host"  
I type in "" and it return. This time it does indeed bring up the RSS URL.
Into the Feed Name field I type "MacWorld". I hit the "Save" button. I hit it again. And again.  And again. The app won’t save the URL it actually delivered.

Okay, if it doesn’t want to work for a lightweight site like MacWorld I figure I’ll try a heavy-weight. I type in I hit enter. It returns our RSS feed URL and has conveniently added our name to the Title field. I hit save. It Saves.

Emboldened by my success I go back and try MacWorld. This time it works.
Unfortunately, as I add my various feeds I discover the auto-discover feature only works about 50% of the time. The other feeds require me entering the URLs manually.

"At least there is the "real Web-Preview" though." I think to myself.
There is and it works. Sort of.
When I hit the "Web Preview" button the full website and that post opens in the same window. Eventually. Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem any faster than when I leave NetNewsWire and open the full site in Safari.
Hit that button again (it now reads "NormaI")  and it returns to the RSS feed. I may not like the speed with which it works but I have to give the developer credit since it does work.

Here is the final nail in this app’s coffin- the user experience is awful.
When I am in the feed list and hit the trash can icon it asks if I want to delete the unread items in the feed or the entire feed.
BUT… when I have a specific feed open and i hit the trash can it…. asks if I want to delete the unread items in the feed or the entire feed. That makes no sense.

Moreover, when I have a specific item open and hit close it brings me back the the entire post list for that feed. There is no way to go directly to the next unread post. That makes no sense.

I could go on but I won’t.
Here is the bottom line- Not only is this app not worth the $3.99 I paid, but if this app were free I would not use it in its current form.
Period. End of discussion.

Quick Take

Overall Value: Zero
Value: Zero
Graphics: Basic
Level of Difficulty: Frustrating
Longevity: Used last night and this morning. I’m done with it.

Final Statement: The best way I can look at it? I paid $3.99 for this post. The app was free. I’m done.

Read the Developer's Notes:
iRSSmobile is the RSS News reader for your iPhone/ iPod touch.

-offline reading
-search news by title
-auto-discover Feed Urls (e.g. simply enter and iRSSmobile detects RSS Feeds provided by Apple. You do not need to enter endless Feed URLs)
-real Web-Preview (no need to switch between iRSSmobile and Safari)
- RSS 2.0 compatible
- many more O U R   T A K E  . . .

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