Review: Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad

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feeddler iPad RSS app 

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.

Looks Familiar

Feeddler RSS Reader iPad app

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.

Feeddler RSS Reader

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.

Feeddler RSS app on the iPad

In landscape mode, a popover box is used to show an individual item.

Feeddler RSS Reader

Works Great

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

iTunes Link

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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33 thoughts on “Review: Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad”

  1. I prefer NetNewsWire. It's worth the money. I used Feeddler for about 2 days before I saw a buddy using NetNewsWire and switched. Very happy with the purchase.

    1. I reviewed NNW recently here. I honestly think it's overrated and over-priced (at its intended normal price of $14.99). Missing some basic GReader sync related features that it has been missing since Day 1 of its iPhone version that synced with GReader.

    2. I reviewed NNW recently here. I honestly think it's overrated and over-priced (at its intended normal price of $14.99). Missing some basic GReader sync related features that it has been missing since Day 1 of its iPhone version that synced with GReader.

  2. I am having issues getting this program to connect while at the school I teach at. We have a web proxy set up and for some reason Feeddler is not connecting through it.

    I do like feeddler though and it is my program that I use as well.

  3. Another issue that I have had is video. If there is a video in the news article that I expand out to full screen it actually goes to full screen mode BEHIND instead of in front of the article like I think it should. This means that I have to close the article that I have been reading in order to see the video. If I then close the video before it is done playing the video closes but the audio continues. Then I can not figure out how to make it stop unless I close feeddler.

  4. I prefer NetNewsWire. It's worth the money. I used Feeddler for about 2 days before I saw a buddy using NetNewsWire and switched. Very happy with the purchase.

  5. Thanks for the review. I'm using Feeddler as well. It's a bit bare bones in some areas, but it gets the job done. And I haven't red enough positive reviews of any other newsreader to consider forking over the registration fee.

    I'm hoping that Reeder will come to the iPad. I'm a big fan of the iPhone version – it's very speedy, even on my iPhone 3G, and has a very innovative UI.

    1. True, it is a little bare bones in places; but I use GReader a lot on my Mac and it is very bare bones, so it kinda feels like home to me :)

      Quite a few of the guys I write with at my iPhone site are big Reeder fans too.

  6. I’ve tried quite a few RSS readers as well, and for my two cents, I prefer News Rack over Feeddler. It also has Google synced up, but I really like the half screen preview page in landscape mode. Still no sorting for read or unread, but the “favorites” helps a tad in that respect.

    Keep up the good blog!

    1. I really like NewsRack a lot on the iPhone, but have not found its iPad app as enjoyable to use. I think the somewhat 'plain jane' look of Feeddler has won me over.

      Will definitely do our best to keep up the good blog. :)

  7. I've been using Feedler since iPad day one (which for me was 3 days after launch). So far I haven't been able to find a better RSS app, though there is one feature missing from it that you didn't mention. The ability to add new RSS feeds. So far one of my biggest iPad gripes is that I haven't been able to find a way to add that occasional feed I come across. Other than that, the crashing is very annoying, but still leaves the app usable.

    Definitely agree that it needs an "unread only feature."

    I keep looking for either a feedler update to fix these things or for a better RSS app to show up. Neither have happened yet, but I remain hopeful.

  8. I would like to be able to change the default number of feeds on a page – having to read and then resync for the unread to go away is a little annoying

    1. Maybe so – or what I might aim for is a 'roundup' type post running down a few leading apps. Feeddler, NetNewsWire, Reeder once it comes to the iPad, NewsRack etc – with a few of us contributing to it.

    1. In portrait mode, just tap the Subscriptions button and they'll show up as a popover. In landscape mode, they're shown continuously.

  9. I am apparently grossly behind the trend in that I don’t own an iPad… I do, however, have an iPhone and am a heavy user of Google Reader. When I logged on today, a notice popped up that I had not seen before — they’re doing AWAY with Reader????

    Now I’m left trying to find another reader to move all my subscriptions to. I want one that could be accessed either ON the iPhone or on a computer (I am still on a PC, not a Mac). I’m assuming that this program is ONLY an app and not a program you can access online as well. Do you have any suggestions for that? I’m freaking out!!! I can’t lose all my feeds and certainly do NOT want to have to get e-mail feeds on everything. :o/

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