Reeder Review for iPhone

On November 29, 2010

App Type: iPhone

Reeder Review for iPhone

Our rating:

By: Silvio Rizzi

Version #: 2.1.2

Date Released:


Price: 2.99

User Rating:

Call me old fashioned, but I still get much of my news from good old RSS feeds. In the world of Twitter, and instant news, I still prefer my rather large collection of feeds that have been nicely sorted in Google Reader. For my mobile needs Google Reader’s iPhone formatted page was an early favorite in spite of it’s reader being a web-based solution. Many RSS readers have come to the app store and I think I have tried almost every one of them. Each RSS reader app I tried just couldn’t match up the the ease of use and organization of Google’s site.

So when Reeder came around I was, of course, skeptical. While it has the advantage of syncing with Google Reader, it lacks the ability to add or delete feeds from within the app itself. Reeder is all about actually reading and sharing articles, and leaves the management of your feeds to Google. This seems to be both an advantage, and a disadvantage. As an avid Google Reader user I found it simple to connect to my account and import the feeds. I had Reeder up and running in minutes. On the other hand, I have been browsing sites in Reeder and have wanted to add a site to my feed list, or to change the tags on a feed. When this happens I am forced to login to Google Reader in Safari and make my changes there. With this glaring shortcoming, why do I bother using Reeder at all? Isn’t it just like all the other news readers? Let me show why Reeder stands above the rest.

From the moment you open the app you are confronted with a cool tan color and muted contracts that make for easy reading. This app is centered around reading new and unread articles from your feed. You can see all your sites in one feeds or you have access to all your tags. From there you can also views all the sites in a tag by date or by site. The interface makes it easy to star or mark as unread with simple left or right swipes over an article. I personally use my starred articles to mark a story I want to read later on my desktop. This makes it super fast to mark these articles and move on. Reeder does all it’s syncing in the background so you can start reading before it is finished syncing. Reeder will also cache the images that are in the feed for times when your internet connection is slow.

When reading articles, Reeder gives you quick access to a large number of ways to share articles with others. Whether you are an Instapaper user, or want to repost to Twitter you can set up each account to quickly send them off. Reeder works equally well in both portrait or in landscape orientation, though some of the menus that pop up are not formatted to be used in landscape and will pop up sideways if you are reading that way. The settings have an option to lock orientation which is less useful since the iOS added it’s own lock button.

Reeder is not without its faults. I have found several annoying bugs that cause it to quit suddenly when trying to view articles with certain video content embedded. I also find it frustrating that I can not make changes to my feed organization from within. A search box would also make finding a particular articles much easier from within the application. These problems aside, the responsivness and layout of the app, coupled with offline downloading of articles, makes this app a clear winner in the RSS reader apps. If you are a news junkie and already have Google reader permanently set in the browser tabs, then give this reader a try and I think you will find a new favorite way to stay on top of the news. Reeder is available for $2.99 and is well worth the investment.

We rate this app 4 out of 5 stars.

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