How’s this for silliness? I was adding up all the RSS style apps I have purchased down the years and it adds up to 11. Yikes. I’m really indecisive in this area and am constantly chopping and changing between ones. I used iNews for a good while as it was simple to navigate through and you could switch between feeds very quickly without having to return to the main screen. However, it does not offer offline reading and that has become an issue. I was kind of hoping they might have added it in by now but over a year later that has become wishful thinking. Tis a pity as if it did offer this I wouldn’t need to look elsewhere.
Anyway, I then investigated a couple more and considered Reeder which I used for a month or so. It’s actually a really good application, syncs nicely with Google Reader, is reliable and has an excellent offline reading mode. Downloading all the articles for caching takes much longer at start up but is still very tolerable. The only thing I don’t like too much is the relatively small font it uses and the beigey looking overall look. What is it with all these beige iPhone apps? Yuk. Still, the app is just about faultless and comes highly recommended but for my failing eyesight the small font and yellowy background is not a good combination.
Pulse News was next. Unfortunately I forgot to check its offline reading capability, if I had and hadn’t foolishly been seduced by the eye candy screenshots then I would not have bought it. It looks the business but lacks useability and has very few options in the settings so you’re sort of stuck with it out of the box. It also limits you to a maximum of 20 feeds which is really rather silly. The way you navigate through posts in feeds is annoying, there’s a small pic at the bottom of each post showing the next posts but moving between them is fiddly and annoying. Too many screen taps needed for too little reading in my view. Pretty yes, customisable no….all show and little go.
Mobile RSS was next. This has had a fairly big revamp in the last month or so and has loads of viewing options/settings including the ability to change the font size, show mini pic previews in a feed list and offline syncing. I really like it now and have been using it ahead of Reeder for the last couple of weeks. I actually think that Reeder is the better app, in offline mode it is slightly quicker to load images in posts, but MobileRSS lets me set up the app to exactly the way I want and has a nice plain white background and bigger font for easier reading. Both apps have that nice Twitter, email and Instapaper (and others too) integration that I find so useful and frankly can now no longer live without.
I really can’t decide between the latter two apps, they’re both very good.