Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad is the best iPad RSS app – with full Google Reader sync – that I’ve come across so far.
I’m a heavy user of Google Reader and an avid reader of RSS feeds – so finding a favorite RSS app on the iPad has been a mission for me from Day 1 with the iPad. I’ve been using Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad for several weeks now, along with a few other rival apps, and it has rapidly become my go-to app for RSS.
App Store Description
Here is a slice of the app’s App Store description:
Feeddler RSS Reader is an ideal Google Reader client for iPad. No 3G and no Wi-Fi? You can still read all feeds cached by Feeddler. Or you can sync all of your RSS subscriptions whenever you have internet access.
Feeddler syncs fast with Google Reader so you can sync all feeds often. If you don’t even want to wait for a second, Feeddler lets you read stories of a subscription while syncing. If you return to read a subscription in a short time, Feeddler gets you stories from cache. If not, Feeddler retrieves the latest stories from your Google Reader account. And you can always refresh a feed at any time.
And its features list:
* Support Google Reader.
* Cache RSS feeds.
* Support sync all subscriptions, and sync subscriptions in a folder/tag.
* Smart Sync shortens syncing time. First-time full sync may take some time.
* Smart update to determine auto-refresh or read-from-cache for a feed.
* Able to star/unstar, like/unlike, share/unshare, mark unread any RSS story.
* Able to mark all read for any RSS subscription.
* Use built-in browser for full articles and web pages.
* Support in-app e-mail sharing.
* Support Facebook sharing.
Feeddler uses the exact same folders layout view as Google Reader itself. I love this, even though it’s just a small feature – as it just feels comfortable and feels like things are where I want and expect them to be, since I spend a lot of time with Greader on my MacBook as well.
It also has in common with GReader a very plain and basic overall look to its feed lists and individual feed item listings. I like this a lot as well.
Its inline browser is not as slick and good-looking as some others I’ve seen, but it is nice enough and more than good enough for displaying full articles and reading everything comfortably. In portrait mode tapping on an individual feed item presents it in full screen view.
In landscape mode, a popover box is used to show an individual item.
Feeddler uses the standard ‘Share’ icon (the one with the envelope and arrow used in the Photos app, for example) as the button to tap to ‘Mark All as Read’. This is a little odd, but it is placed well at the bottom right and works just fine.
It lets you see your Shared Items and Starred Items folders and share/unshare, star/unstar items easily.
It works well in both portrait and landscape modes. I find I prefer landscape as it feels quicker to navigate among feeds and folders, and I like the popover box for individual articles.
One of the most critical things for me in judging an RSS app is how well it handles sync. How fast it syncs, how accurate it is in showing Read/Unread items in your feeds, and how reliable it in terms of syncing starred and shared items status with GReader.
Happily, Feeddler excels at sync all the way around. Sync is quite quick, and it has been 100% accurate and reliable for me in its showing of feed counts. It has also always been spot on with handling of starred and shared items status.
A Few Things That Could Be Improved
Needs an option to show only feeds that have unread items.
It lets you share items, but not yet with a note. This would be nice to see added in a future update.
When you mark all items as read in an individual feed list, it does not snap back to the overall feeds listing. At least a few other RSS apps have this feature and it is a very nice one, as it saves a lot of taps to move back to the list.
It doesn’t recall where you were when you last left the app, and it doesn’t the total number of unread items across all feeds – I like seeing that number to see how much I’m catching up (or falling behind) on my reading.
I’ve seen occasional crashes back to the home screen when using it. They are not too frequent though, and it has never failed to happily re-launch and get straight back to business.
As I’ve already mentioned above, this is my current favorite iPad RSS app. It’s the one I use every day, several times per day – and I’m finding it a pleasure to use. It’s comfortable, feels a lot like GReader itself, and syncs reliably and quickly.
For my money, this app beats its better-known and higher-priced competition. I’ve been using the free version of the app as well. I like it enough that I’ve now bought the Pro version (for $3.99) purely to show support for the developers, as I don’t feel I’m missing anything huge in the free version.
Version Reviewed: 1.2