I’ve made no mystery of my love for RSS and my dismay over its slow adoption by the masses. I do most of my reading in a given week by means of my feedreader, and it is how I satisfy my inner news junkie. I find myself trusting mainstream news sources less and less as their biases become more apparent and their propensity toward sensationalism becomes more irritating. I prefer do-it-yourself news aggregation, especially when I can read it on my portable device of choice: my iPhone.
A couple of years ago, I purchased Byline to read my RSS feeds on my iPhone. I liked that it syncs to Google Reader so that anything I read on the mobile device is marked read online. It’s basic features met my needs at the time, especially since I considered my news habit to be very personal. It was (as most things in my life seem to be) all about me.
In the months that have followed, my PLN has grown and matured and I now appreciate the social potential of RSS feeds. We all follow some of the same news sources, but our individual interests and experiences (mine are comic books and marine sciences) lead us to read different things. I make use of Google Reader’s sharing features much more now to pass along and comment on news that I discover.
And so, this week I went searching for a new iPhone app to access and share my RSS feeds. After some research and suggestions from friends, I discovered Reeder. I couldn’t be more impressed with an application. It has all of the visual goodies of my preferred Twitter client, Tweetie, with all of the RSS reading/sharing features I would ever want.
First, it is CRAZY fast. I didn’t realize an iPhone app could synchronize with the web this fast. Moving through the list of items is smooth and quick. When viewing a single item, it using the increasingly popular and amazingly intuitive “pull and release” method to move between items. It syncs with Google Reader, and I actually prefer it’s interface over the mobile web and full web versions from Google.
The Share menu is ridiculously complete. I can post an item directly to Twitter, save it for later reading in Instapaper, or open an email message and send the item or a link to it. It even allows me to simply copy the link to the item and then decide what to do with it (mobile blogging, anyone?). I can’t think of any other ways that I would want to share an item.
Finally, it’s the little touches. I enjoy Tweetie’s “swipe” feature that shows me options after I swipe my finger over a tweet. Reeder adapts this behavior nicely by letting me mark an item as starred/unstarred or read/unread with a simple tug to the left or right. I found myself doing “triage” on my news items much more quickly and with a little bit of glee due to the natural feel of this app.
Newsreaders are, unfortunately, a geek-niche app category right now. But, if you find yourself in that niche, and are looking for a truly enjoyable way to browse your feeds, I can’t recommend Reeder highly enough.
Reeder is made by Silvio Rizzi and costs $2.99 on the iTunes Store.