The screencap above is what a page looks like in Feedly on the iPad if you choose to turn your iPad into landscape mode. Feedly doesn’t recognize landscape mode at all, so you’re forced to use the app always in portrait mode. I think that’s a very bad design decision for any app that involves reading on the iPad. The way we choose to read on the iPad is both a very personal thing, and something that may well change depending on where you are, what time of day it is, and so on.
This is just one of a number of very disappointing aspects of Feedly on the iPad. Another major one is that the app makes it very difficult to see all of your feeds, if you have more than ten. I have over 200 subscriptions, so seeing only 10 in the home page’s Featured area is really not much use at all. And there is no ability to choose which feeds show up in the featured section. So we’re forced into portrait mode and forced to go with whatever the app thinks is the right list of featured feeds. Very lame.
The only way I’ve found so far to view a feed not shown in the featured areas is to use the Search button on the bottom nav bar.
Navigation in the app is also extremely awkward. When you choose to read an individual article, you can swipe through to the previous and next article in that feed. What you can’t do is easily choose to switch to another feed. You have to fist hit the ‘Done’ button on the individual article and then tap the home button back on the page you’re taken back to. This is clumsy and makes the whole reading experience feel much slower.
It also feels odd to see a button on articles that offers to ‘format the page for mobile devices’. This is an app specifically designed for the iPad and the iPhone – are they not mobile devices?
I’m not at all sure what sort of app Feedly is intended to be. It feels in some ways like it’s trying to be Flipboard – and of course it’s nowhere near being Flipboard. Its pages are nicely done, but not anywhere near as well designed as Flipboard’s. It also doesn’t allow for any of the great customization and personalization that Flipboard enables. It’s definitely no Flipboard.
And it’s not a proper, full-fledged RSS app. It feels like it still wants to be a sort of Google Reader extension. On a desktop browser Feedly is a browser extension and companion to Google Reader and in a browser that works nicely. On the iPad it doesn’t.
I can’t see myself finding any use for Feedly in its current form.
Here’s an App Store link for Feedly; it’s a free app and a universal app for the iPad and iPhone.