The 2 Killer Features of the Mr. Reader App That Made Me Switch From Reeder (Video)

I wasn’t looking for a new RSS reader for the iPad. But when Christine Chan over at App Advice, in her an awesome RSS-reader app roundup, recommended Mr. Reader ($3.99) as her top choice for iPad, and when I saw all the 5-star reviews it had in the App Store, I decided to give it a chance.

Mr. Reader is more complicated than my previous favorite RSS reader app, Reeder, and I like my apps simple. But digging into the app’s settings and customizations, I was blown away by all the features, some of which I didn’t even know I needed. The video below shows off 2 features that were the dealbreakers for me, but keep in mind there are dozens more that make Mr. Reader the best RSS reader for iPad:

The 2 Killer Features:

1. An Incredibly Clever and Simple Interface for Moving From Article to Article. Mr. Reader has an ingenious interface for navigating from article to article. It really must be seen (or used) to be understood (see the video above), but basically it involves sliding your finger from the edge of the iPad inward, which makes several buttons appear. To navigate to the next article, you simply lift your finger of the screen. If you want to go back to the previous article, slide your finger to the up-arrow button. To close the current view, slide your finger down to the X. It’s incredibly intuitive, easy, and addictive—I find myself trying to do the same motion in other apps as well. It’s also a much better interface than other RSS apps I’ve tried, which all rely on tapping tiny buttons or making dramatic full-screen swipes to move from article to article.

2. The Ability to Turn Partial Feeds Into Full Feeds. Partial RSS feeds are annoying. You only get a headline and maybe a sentence or two. Mr. Reader has a feature where you can lock a feed into a full-feed view. It does this by automatically loading the link of the feed into an in-app web browser or a service like Readability or Instapaper, all of which will show the full article. Never again will you have to suffer the tease that is a partial RSS feed.


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5 Responses

  1. Sam F says:

    That’s pretty cool. I like the lock feature. I wish there was an iPhone app.

  2. Interesting that you complain about partial RSS feeds from websites that are trying to make money with advertising (instead of requiring readers to pay), and that your site has three ad spots and space for four more.

    I love Mr. Reader, it’s my favorite iPad reader as well. But the ad-stripping (or, more accurately: content-stripping) feature should be ripped out.

    • Alan says:

      I also deliver a full RSS feed. Complaining about Mr. Reader, Instapaper, Ad Block, and other ad-stripping services is like complaining about TiVO, it does no good. Content consumers are ultimately in control.

  3. @Alan Thanks for your review! :-)

    @David You don’t have to use the mobilizers, you can always open the full website. ;-) Anyway, in my opinion the websites should provide full RSS content with embedded ad’s or they should reduce the usage of social buttons and the discussion plugins on their websites (back to basic). This slows down the website loading extremely on mobile devices (= many server calls to load the JavaScript’s, Images, discussion entries, etc.). I would be happy if I could remove those mobilizers … and of course my competitors should remove them too!

  4. Joe says:

    Reeder supports Readability and other mobilizers. I don’t know whether it has a lock feature or not. However what I find interesting is that some rss feeds, like Daring Fireball, for example seem to have entirely different content between the native RSS feed and what you see with Readability.

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