RSS readers for the iPad have come a long way, and they have done an array of neat tricks and revolutionary layout techniques to get you to enjoy your news feeds in a new way. Reeder for iPad (yes that’s with two e’s) is the latest in the line of awesome iPad news readers, this one from Silvio Rizzi, and with full support for Google Reader synching and iPad touch based controls.
Once Reeder for iPad opens up for the first time, you are prompted for your Google Reader account username and password. After the app logs you in, it proceeds to suck in all your Google Reader feeds. Your labels are shown using stacks of paper, and as they get updated they slide around the grey table to sort the piles in order of last update. You can tap on any pile of paper to open up the list of news feeds for that folder/label. The reading list in landscape mode on your iPad is has a left pane that you can scroll through with titles and preview text, and tap to read the entire article. From the left pane, you can swipe any story left to Star or Un-star it and swipe right to mark as read/unread. On the reading pane you also have buttons to star, mark read, and share the item with your Google Reader friends.
The context menu in Reeder is fully customizable and you can add/remove a plethora of services including Google Reader Notes, Delicious, Pinboard, Instapaper, Read It Later, Twitter, Open in Safari, Copy Link, Mail Link, Mail Article, Google Mobilizer, and Instapaper Mobilizer.
Reeder is clean cut and designed with speed in mind. The smooth flat theme makes reading simple and the app does a seriously smooth job of downloading feed updates and caching results for you without barely any lag time The initial fetch does take a long time to get going, however, especially if you have a ton of feeds like I do in Google Reader, but that’s only really the only time you have to wait around. If your iPad isn’t 3G capable, Reeder is also great, because it stores your feeds there for offline reading, and you can even have the images in the feeds cached for you.
The user interface is clean but could use some quick introduction or help screen to give users an idea of what all the buttons stand for. It took me a while to figure out that the white circle stands for new unread items, and the lined icon stands for all items. You can also filter only starred items. One final sexy feature in Reeder is that you can pinch in and out on any pile (label) to expand its feeds using the same style animation as you’ve seen in Photos on the iPad. Feeds also pick up the RSS image if provided and look a little bit like iBooks titles in the app.
Overall Reeder for iPad is a well put together iPad app that has become a house favorite here. The only drawback is that it only works with a Google Reader account. If you use Google Reader and want something to make your life easier on the iPad, this one is a great choice, and we highly recommend it. There does seem to be a bug where deleted labels in Reader don’t seem to get removed from Reeder, and hopefully this can be fixed in the next revision. There is no text based search feature which is a little annoying. Also adding some themes to customize the look and feel of the app wouldn’t hurt either.
Reeder for iPhone: The iPhone version of the Reeder app costs an additions $2.99 as this is not a universal app.
Here is a video demo of the Reeder for iPad app on the iPhone
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