Category Archives: News

Reeder 3.0 for iPad

Catching up on RSS feeds just doesn’t feel right to me unless it’s done within Reeder. There’s something about the three sliding panels, the smooth gestures to activate Readability or load links in the browser. Other RSS apps like Newsify may have more dynamic visual layouts and feature picture more prominently, but nothing else matches the speed and ease-of-use of a Reeder on iOS.

The features in v3.0 aren’t groundbreaking, but they’re enough to keep me a happy Reeder user for a while to come. First of all, Reeder 3 now works with iOS 9 multitasking and has been scaled to fit the iPad Pro. The interface hasn’t really changed to take advantage of the larger canvas, but that’s actually okay so far, since the gestures within the app make all of the shortcuts very easy to access.


It’s great to be able to browse my RSS feed and take a few notes on interesting links in Evernote simultaneously. Safari and Reeder 3 also make an interesting multitasking combo if you set the former to open links within Safari. I can have Safari as my primary app and run Reeder as a smaller window along the side of the screen, and it does feel more like a cohesive system when I tap on a link and see it open along the left side.

However, a cleaner browsing experience is what you’re after, Reeder now has support for the Safari View Controller, which means you have a complete browser module — extensions, saved passwords and all — available to you as you peruse your feeds. In keeping with Reeder’s awesome gesture integration, the Safari View can be dismissed with a quick swipe to the right, so you don’t have to tap the “Done” button in the top-right corner.

Instapaper Sync

The other significant feature in 3.0 is the support for Instapaper as a syncing service, meaning that you can actually use Reeder as your all-in-one RSS and Read Later app. It’s not terribly obvious, but you can archive Instapaper articles by marking them as Read. I think this would have been made clearer by using some sort of archive icon in lieu of the “unread” dot, but this solution works well enough for now.

I had initially dismissed the integration of Instapaper because I’ve been using Safari’s Reading List for the past few months. However, having read a few Instapaper articles within Reeder, I’m now on the fence about which service to use. Safari’s Reading List is useful, but occasionally inconsistent. Sometimes articles don’t download for offline reading like they’re supposed to, and I can accidentally swipe through an entire article if I swipe too quickly (scrolling sensitivity needs to be adjusted). Safari can also be very picky about when it syncs. If I read an article and try to manually mark it as read, the app will hit me with a dialogue box to tell me that I can’t do anything while its syncing.

Reeder’s Instapaper integration isn’t nearly as picky about things. It’s easy to view all of my articles and filter them by date or even by source. Most websites do full RSS feeds, but for those that don’t, it can be useful to pass them through Instapaper first in order to read the entire article within Reeder. The only bug I can see so far is that Instapaper syncing can sometimes time out if you try to sync it manually. This goes away after restarting the app, but it’s not as consistent with syncing as the official Instapaper app.

Reeder 3.0 feels mainly like a compatibility update to me. I’m sure that the Instapaper integration took time, but it isn’t a headline feature for me at the moment because I don’t take full advantage of the service. But that’s all right by me. Reeder is one of those apps that feels tailor-made for me, and all I really need from it is to stay compatible with each subsequent iOS and OS X update. Reeder 3 is free for existing users

Share This:

Apple introduces iOS 9

iOS 9-feature-list

Today at the World Wide Developer conference Apple gave us our first look at iOS 9.  As anticipated, iOS 9 focused primarily on stability and improvements to the  user-interface.  Now, even though we didn’t get a bloated laundry list of new features and apps, we did get some interesting and welcomed changes.

Apple focused on updating and improving the following apps

  • Siri
  • Spotlight Search
  • Apple Pay
  • Notes
  • Maps
  • Keyboard
  • News ( a brand new news aggregator app)

Continue reading

Share This:

How to watch the 2015 WWDC Keynote on your iPad


This morning Apple announced via their events page that they will be live-streaming their 2015 World Wide Developer Conference Keynote next week.  This isn’t a big surprise, as they have been offering a live-stream of their Keynote announcements and conferences for some time now.  Hopefully they will have better luck than they did last year during the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement, where a Chinese interpreter translating over the main audio stream was one of the most memorable takeaways from the special event.

In addition to the being live-streamed over Safari, there will also be a dedicated Apple Events Channel offered for those of you with an Apple TV.  The event goes live at 1 PM EST.

To watch the WWDC live you need to meet or exceed the following requirements

Continue reading

Share This:

My New Favorite News App: Yahoo! News Digest


In today’s busy world it’s hard to find time to keep current on the top news stories. When you do (finally) find time to open your favorite news app, it can be hard to navigate a maze of stories. Yahoo has found a solution to this problem – News Digest. News Digest is a simple app that delivers news to you twice per day, at times you specify.

Continue reading

Share This:

Hourly News: Superb, Simple News Podcasts for iPad

Hourly News iPad app

Hourly News is a simple little single-purpose app for the iPad and iPhone. It’s a podcast app that brings hourly news updates from a small but blue-chip list of sources and presents them in bare-bones basic interface that’s a pleasure to use.

I only just discovered the app a couple days back thanks to a post by MG Siegler, but it has become an instant favorite on my iPad mini.

The sources included in the app are NPR , BBC, CBC, ABC, CBS, WSJ, ESPN, VOA, SRN, FOX news, and Bloomberg Radio – so you get good coverage of pretty much all major news topics.

Continue reading

Share This:

The Austin American-Statesman Has a New iPad App: It’s Beyond Terrible

Today’s Paper from The Austin American-Statesman

My hometown’s leading newspaper launched a new iPad app yesterday. It’s called Today’s Paper from The Austin American-Statesman and it’s beyond terrible. It’s not just a terrible iPad newspaper app, it’s an embarrassing app to even have published in the App Store. I’m amazed any sensible publisher has put their name on this.

I should’ve realized how useless this ‘paper’ was when attempting to take a look at the app when it launched yesterday. That in itself was a farcically bad experience. It went something like this:

— I run an iPad site, do iPad app reviews, and especially enjoy iPad newspaper and magazine editions. So I was excited to see a new iPad app from Austin’s leading newspaper. I’m not a current print or online Statesman subscriber but I was a very keen potential iPad subscriber.

— I installed the app and immediately found that I could not so much as tap to view a single article before hitting a roadblock. To view anything at all in the app you have to sign in as an existing subscriber or take on a new subscription. I’ve been covering iPad newspaper and magazine apps for over two years now and I cannot recall a single other title that refuses to show any content at all before demanding your money. Great start, and it only gets (much) worse from there.

— I knew I couldn’t sign in so I hit the Subscribe button and chose the only available option – the $9.99 per month subscription. I tried this several times and got a variety of error messages that all seemed to imply it was just not possible to buy anything on the iPad App Store. Just for laughs, I went to the App Store, installed an iPad magazine, and bought an issue of it with zero errors or problems.

Continue reading

Share This:

The London Evening Standard Now Has an iPad Edition

London Evening Standard iPad Edition

Yesterday saw the release of the latest newspaper iPad edition to hit the iPad App Store – London Evening Standard iPad Edition. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this paper, here’s a little background on it, via its App Store page:

The London Evening Standard is a quality daily newspaper, published in tabloid format in London, England. It is the regional evening paper for London and the southeast of England, with coverage of national and international news as well as topical features.

The paper celebrates London and what living in London is all about. It reports the news and fights balanced campaigns on behalf of Londoners.

Our features deliver a different flavor each day
Monday – Trends: Everything that is current, hip and of the moment in London from fashion to gadgets to cars
Tuesday – Fashion: Style and Sex: All the latest fashion and shopping advice
Wednesday – Heath and Beauty
Thursday- London Life: Living in the greatest city in the world and a guide to culture in the capital
Friday – Film and Music: Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to see and where to see it in the greatest city in the world.

I lived in London for many years and The London Evening Standard (or just The Standard) was a daily purchase and my reading material for the train trip home every evening. It’s a much ‘lighter’ style of paper than the morning broadsheets like The Times, The Guardian and others but usually a good read, especially during a commute home. So of course I was curious to see what their iPad edition is like when it hit the App Store yesterday.

Continue reading

Share This:

NewsFlash – a Very Clean, Fast News & RSS Reader for iPad

NewsFlash for iPad

NewsFlash is a relatively new breaking news and headlines RSS reader app for the iPad and iPhone. It uses quite a simple interface and offers breaking news and top stories from around the world and in a number of languages.

I have a clear favorite RSS reader app for the iPad, River of News, and use Twitter and notifications from a handful of news apps to attempt to keep up with breaking news – but I’m always on the lookout for more good news and RSS sources, so I’ve been giving NewsFlash a try over the last several days. The short story here is that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like this app. Hit the break for the reasons why …

Continue reading

Share This:

Review: River of News for Google Reader for iPad

River of News for Google Reader for iPad

River of News for Google Reader, as the name might give away, is an RSS reader for the iPad for those who use Google Reader to keep up with their favorite feeds.

I’m a big consumer of RSS feeds as a major part of how I keep up with news each day – whether it’s iPad and iOS news, general tech news, or just news in general. I also follow Twitter, Google+, and news magazines like Flipboard, Zite, Google Currents, and others to keep up with what’s happening – but tracking my 200 or so favorite feeds in Google Reader is still my most used and most effective way to try to keep up with the daily information overload we’re all faced with these days.

I’ve tried other RSS apps on the desktop but Google Reader in a browser has remained my favorite for years on the desktop. It was my favorite on the iPhone for a long while too – even after the App Store opened and many decent native RSS reader apps came along. These days I do most of my reading on the iPad, so finding a great RSS app for the iPad was a priority from Day 1. Happily, River of News hit the iPad App Store a few months after the iPad was released – and it has been my favorite RSS app ever since.

Continue reading

Share This:

Review: Instacast HD for iPad

Instacast HD for iPad

Instacast HD is the iPad version of the popular podcast client that was first available as an iPhone app. The iPhone version, Instacast, has been around since March of this year – the iPad app was released in late November.

iTunes on iOS has always handled podcasts, but only in a very basic way – with very few features to help you discover or enjoy podcasts. So there’s always been a need for really good podcast client apps on iOS.

I’ve been using Instacast since its release back in March and have been a big fan of the app ever since. Of course when I saw there was a new iPad app version I had high hopes for it and installed it right away. The short story on Instacast HD is if you enjoy podcasts and own an iPad you need to go get this app right away. For lots of good reasons why that is so, hit the break …

Continue reading

Share This:

Editions by AOL – New iPad Magazine Looks Promising

Editions by AOL iPad magazine

Editions by AOL is a new iPad-only magazine from the folks who pioneered CDs as coasters for our coffee mugs. It’s the latest social, highly customizable news magazine style app for the iPad, following in the footsteps of Flipboard and others that have lead the way in this category.

Here’s a little of its App Store intro:

Editions by AOL is a beautiful, new, daily magazine that reads you.
It learns what you like (and what you don’t) and delivers a magazine that’s personalized just for you, each and every day. … Whether you’re into Entertainment, Tech, or Fashion, or just want to keep up with business news or local happenings, Editions connects you with the best stories that match your interests.

I’ve been trying out Editions today and I have to say I’m quite impressed so far. Right from first launch it prompts you to start personalizing it by connecting to Facebook, Twitter and AOL/AIM (does anyone really still use those?).

Continue reading

Share This: