What's your preferred iOS RSS feed reader? What features are necessary/missing?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Doc O'Leary, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    All the ones I could find are disappointing. So much so that I'm
    finishing up work on my own. But is there any need for yet another one?

    So I'd like to know what feed reader(s) people are actually using today
    and are happy with. Or, like me, have you not been using your iOS
    device for that? What existing features do you find are the most useful
    (e.g., push notification), and what missing features are the most
    desired (e.g., background fetching)?

    Thanks.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 20, 2011
    #1
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  2. Doc O'Leary

    Guest Guest

    Google Reader. In conjunction with the vastly better web
    browser, iCab.

    BTW, I only downloaded iCab about a week ago. I wish I could
    have it *always* be the default instead of Safari, but at
    least I can choose it when I'm choosing where to start up
    from.
    Nothing compares to NetNewsWire, at least as it was before
    the NewsGator thing. I gave it up around then, but apparently
    it's been under additional development since, and there's
    an iPad and an iPhone version - maybe it's time to visit it
    again and see if I like it.

    I gave up on it a few years ago and switched to Google Reader
    and haven't really been too unhappy with it except when in
    Safari and Google tries to "fix" web pages for mobile viewing
    and completely hoses them. In iCab, that doesn't seem to
    happen and it's easy to open articles in new tabs.
     
    Guest, Apr 20, 2011
    #2
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  3. What I'd like to see is the option to grab the full article from sites
    that only include a headline. Basically, http://fulltextrssfeed.com/ but
    built in to the app.
     
    Tom Harrington, Apr 21, 2011
    #3
  4. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    I saw a recent update for MobileRSS that added this feature. Maybe
    others will be adding it as well. My approach, at least for the 1.0
    version, is quite a bit different. It's more "passive"; less a feed
    reader and more a news flow watcher.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 21, 2011
    #4
  5. Thanks, I didn't realize it did that.
     
    Tom Harrington, Apr 21, 2011
    #5
  6. Doc O'Leary

    NightStalker Guest

    Feeddler RSS Reader Pro.

    Does it all. I have Pulse as well, but that is all sizzle and little
    boom. Loads of graphics but hard to see at a glance what is coming in.

    Feeddler Pro - highly recommended.

    Works on both my iPad2 and my iPhone
     
    NightStalker, Apr 22, 2011
    #6
  7. Doc O'Leary

    Charles Guest

    I use Reeder. Tried them all and Reeder is the best. Features most
    useful, gestures for moving thru feeds and Readability.
     
    Charles, Apr 22, 2011
    #7
  8. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    Requires a Google Reader account, which makes it a non-starter for me.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 22, 2011
    #8
  9. Doc O'Leary

    NightStalker Guest

    Why is that a problem? It costs nothing, and all you need is a standard
    Google sign-in. I have one, but I never, ever, use GMail. But I do
    sign in to news.google.com for my summary of the daily news, I do sign
    in to maps.goodle.com when I need directions, and I do have a Google
    Reader account which lets me use Feeddler. I never need to go near the
    Google Reader account once I've set up the feeds.

    So what's the problem with setting up a Google Reader account?
     
    NightStalker, Apr 23, 2011
    #9
  10. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    A better question is: why make that a requirement? I just want to read
    a feed. Why should I have to jump through hoops with another site to
    make that happen? And while I don't expect Google to vanish tomorrow,
    you have to wonder whether the dependency is wise for either the app
    developer or the app user.
    How would you feel about an iOS email app that required GMail? Or what
    about an app that required you to have a Twitter account, you know, just
    in case you wanted to share a story? Again, I just want to read the RSS
    feed from site X with app Y, not start a relationship with Z.
    Reading news stories doesn't require setting up an account.
    Getting directions doesn't require setting up an account.
    I sick and tired of setting up accounts for things that don't require
    them. I'm also suspicious of exchanging account information with third
    parties. I could see syncing as an option, but why not start by letting
    my smart phone be smart?
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 24, 2011
    #10
  11. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    Needing a server is a much different proposition than needing someone
    *else's* server. And I also think that good mobile software should make
    it, for the most part, *unnecessary* to rely on some desktop software to
    get something done. Especially when it comes to something as
    straightforward as reading news feeds.
    Must be a nice problem to have. I'd also like to hear of any of those
    choices you have provide for a much better feed reader experience than
    iOS currently does.
    It is definitely *one* way to do that. But the smart phone itself
    should be smarter about that sort of thing. Not everything needs to be
    in "the cloud". I'd agree that the *option* has value, but I only took
    issue with the *requirement* that many apps have regarding Google Reader.
    If only. It's the same empty promise of "write once, run everywhere"
    that never seems to materialize. The fact that data might be stored in
    an open format will make much more of a difference than it being
    encrypted on the network. Which is better or worse depends entirely on
    your needs.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 25, 2011
    #11
  12. Doc O'Leary

    NightStalker Guest

    Of course, the choice is yours, but having a Google Reader account means
    that Google's servers and feeds do the heavy lifting, while your iOS app
    only has to take that info and present it to you in a format you like.

    For a couple of bucks for an iOS app, you can't really expect them to
    duplicate the servers and processing power that Google has in gathering
    all the info in one place.

    I never, ever, use Google Reader - but my news feeds go through it to
    get to my Feeddler app.

    The other place I get those feeds is in the native Apple Mac Mail app.
    And that doesn't require a Google Reader account. But it ain't an iOS
    app, and the iOS apps don't link to Mac Mail.

    All I'm saying is that if you want a good news feed reader, then having
    a Google Reader account is so easy, costs nothing, and gives you the
    choice of all those nice iOS apps. Including Feeddler, which is my
    personal choice.
     
    NightStalker, Apr 26, 2011
    #12
  13. Doc O'Leary

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <> someone
    Not only that, but you can try out and even use multiple apps
    simultaneously without losing your place, allowing you to find out which
    app meets your needs.
     
    DevilsPGD, Apr 27, 2011
    #13
  14. Doc O'Leary

    Charles Guest

    I read on multiple devices. My computer, iPhone and iPad. Google Reader
    sync is a necessity for me.
     
    Charles, Apr 27, 2011
    #14
  15. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    The lifting isn't that heavy. I *do* essentially have to have a server
    in place due to the way I'm dealing with feeds, but I took that burden
    on myself. It seemed the more responsible approach.
    So I'm going to be underpriced at a buck?
    It's funny you say that, because what I'm working on has its roots in
    something I did for the Mac way back before they added feed reading to
    Safari in 2005. Even though I'm not going to focus on it as a feature,
    it *does* link/sync with the Mac (possibly even Windows) with no extra
    software or accounts required.
    I'm all for choice, which is why it is discouraging when some feed
    readers *don't* support my choice not to bother with Reader. Still, my
    bigger complaint is that it was bothersome/obtrusive to have to deal
    with the launching of feed readers on iOS, but maybe that's less of an
    issue for most people.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 27, 2011
    #15
  16. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    True, but keep in mind that email is fundamentally different than feeds.
    If it weren't, we'd all be handing our email addresses over to every
    site so that they could send us a newsletter (which some sites still try
    to do for some reason). Feeds are inherently impersonal and stateless.
    While it is *also* true that we'd like to have a saved state when we use
    different machines (which does make services like Reader akin to IMAP),
    something I'm noticing with mobile devices is that some people just
    don't bother with using their desktop software anymore when they want to
    do things.
    As a software developer, my bigger concern is personal responsibility to
    both my company and my customers. Just like Twitter decided to kick
    third party apps away, so too could Google make life rough for all the
    developers who decided to tie intimately in with their service.
    Only if you're someone who plays around with multiple devices. I'm just
    saying that I don't see most people doing they. They choose one and go
    with it, increasingly to the exclusion of even desktop software that
    does the same things.
    That is an odd way to see vendor lock-in as a feature.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 27, 2011
    #16
  17. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    Not just sync, but I see it happening for for some specific services in
    general. For example, I don't run Skype on my desktop machine at all
    anymore, despite it having more features and "cloud" syncing of my
    contacts, simply because the iOS version does all I need it to.
    Sure, but without some contract in place there is zero assurance that,
    once they have all the "reach" they think they need, they'll shut things
    down. Probably less likely from Google than it was from Twitter, but it
    still seems silly to *require* everything to be funneled through those
    external servers.
    It's a false dichotomy to say it's either lame text or lock-in. I don't
    necessarily expect every vendor to support import/export features, but
    neither would I say it's good not to have that option. I very much like
    the idea that storing the user data is just the *start* of what an app
    can do for them.
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 28, 2011
    #17
  18. An iOS RSS reader that doesn't at least allow me to import my Google Reader
    feeds is pretty much out for me.

    I've got maybe 100 feeds - what other option would I have for moving my
    feed list from one reader to another?
     
    Jim Glidewell, Apr 29, 2011
    #18
  19. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    But, really, that has to do with migration of any kind. Support for
    Google's service, never mind the *requirement* for it, is based on the
    idea that the user is already locked into that product. I still think
    the better choice is an open format, but I would agree that doing any
    sort of import/export on mobile devices is currently rather cumbersome.
    And that's why Google services are less than ideal. Their cash cow is
    advertising, so you have to wonder how friendly they're going to be in
    the long run if they're not seeing the results they'd like. But, like I
    said, I don't expect them to do anything like that because the overhead
    for running a feed cache is fairly low.
    Yeah, one of the biggest disappointments I have in iOS becoming popular
    is that some companies see it as nothing more than an opportunity to
    bleed their users. If anything, services should be *cheaper*, because
    mobile systems are more locked down than desktop systems.

    But the whole mobile transition is happening so fast that I'm sure it'll
    take years for everyone to figure out how to smooth over the bumps. And
    by the time they do, I'm sure the Next Big Thing will start the process
    all over again! :)
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 29, 2011
    #19
  20. Doc O'Leary

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    <-september
    ..org>,
    Not being a Google Reader user, what options does it offer to export
    your list of feeds? Something akin to bookmark exports that most
    browsers support? As a developer, I don't want to have to ask users for
    their Google account info just to get that information. Can you give an
    example URL or file from Reader that could easily be used to populate
    another reader?
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 29, 2011
    #20
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