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.
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