Review: River of News for Google Reader for iPad

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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.

River of News for iPad

Notes

Here’s a slice of the App Store intro for River of News:

River of News is the only iPad app that works like Google Reader. You simply scroll through your articles and they are marked as read when they scroll off the screen.
Your favorite feeds are beautifully presented in an interface that’s optimized for reading enjoyment.

And some of its notable features:

✭ Always in sync with Google Reader
✭ Infinite scroll
✭ Mark as read while you scroll
✭ Double tap to jump to the next article. Many other gestures available.
✭ Optimized for readability
✭ 2 fonts and 4 sizes. Choose what is comfortable for your eyes.
✭ Sort by newest or oldest
✭ Save images to your photo album with a tap and hold
Share and store articles in many ways. Any of these can be assigned to simple gestures in the iPad Settings app.
✔ Facebook
✔ Twitter
✔ Email
✔ Instapaper
✔ Read it Later
✔ Delicious (with Yahoo ID)
✔ Tumblr
✔ Pinboard

River of News for iPad

Highlights

– One of the first things I loved about River of News, and continue to enjoy, is how much like Google Reader it is. It feels comfortable and familiar to use if you’re a Google Reader user in a browser on the desktop – but also offers major improvements over that experience. Things like being able to just swipe left and right to move between feeds are a great example of this.

– It updates feeds quickly and lets you dive right into browsing feeds when you open the app up. As in, you don’t have to wait and watch a status bar slowly crawl along if you have a large number of feeds to update before being able to get on with reading – which many other RSS apps force you to do.

– It looks good and works well in both portrait and landscape mode. I prefer landscape mode where the feeds list is a constant in the left sidebar, but portrait mode makes it available as a popover as well.

River of News for iPad

River of News for iPad

– It keeps everything (including starred items, which I use heavily) in perfect sync with Google Reader, instantly and effortlessly.

– You can toggle on and off marking items as read as you scroll. I always have this on.

– There’s a good range of sharing and saving options in the app, as shown in the features list above.

Lowlights

None to speak of.

MarkAllAsRead

Overall

If you’re a user of Google Reader or someone who wants to keep up with your favorite news sources via RSS on the iPad, I can’t recommend River of News highly enough. I’ve used Google Reader heavily for many years, used a large number of RSS apps for iOS (and yes I have tried Reeder) and River of News has remained my solid favorite ever since I started using it. It’s the first news source I go to each day, one of my most frequently used apps, and one of my choices for the Best iPad Apps of 2011 list (and the 2010 list as well).

Here’s an App Store link for River of News; it’s priced at $1.99.

Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page. 

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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9 thoughts on “Review: River of News for Google Reader for iPad

  1. I have stopped using Google Reader apps now that Flipboard syncs with Google Reader. It will even mark as read as you flip through the pages.

    For me to use something other than Flipboard, the app would not need to push new articles like Google does with the native reader app on Android. Not sure any of the iOS that support push? Happy to be corrected.

    • I’m a big Flipboard fan and user as well – definitely the best of the news magazine apps.

      I’m not sure about that push feature – I don’t recall hearing bout an iOS app that supports that.

  2. Great review. River of News has definitely become my fav RSS reader too. :) However, the only thingi disagree on is there been no lowlights. The two issues I have with this app are: not been able to subscribe to new feeds within the app, and the other issue is external links opening within the app, not in Safari. The external link is most annoying when you’re trying to open an iTunes link, but can’t within the app. You instead have to copy and paste it into Safari.
    Other ten those two issues, I love this app. :)

    • Thanks for the kind words about the review.

      On your two issues, I know some people would prefer to be able to add individual feeds within the app, but I find it easy enough to add them via Google Reader itself in any browser.

      On opening links, you can use the Share button once you’ve opened an article in the app’s inline browser, tap More, and you get an option to Open in Safari. Hopefully that gets you past that second issue.

      • Thanks foe the advice Patrick. :) nice to know about that second trick to open things up in Safari. I just wish I could open all links in safari. I don’t mind the embedded browser, but still rather use Safari for some links (like direct iTunes links). Love your website! :)

        • Awesome – very glad to hear you love the site. That’s always great to hear.

  3. I’ve been using Feedler Pro, which I find works pretty well for me. But, I’m always looking for new apps. Any ideas about how river of news compares with Feedler?

    thanks,

    Mary

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