Feeds has the most attractive interface of any of the native readers. There are options to change its default theme colors, but I’m quite happy with how it comes. Its inline browser is fast-loading and easy on the eyes. The app is fairly solid, crashing rarely, and offers you standard choices of actions you can take on a feed item (star, share, etc.).
My favorite feature is that it lets you save an item to Instapaper, an excellent offline reading program for the iPhone. I also like the fact that all but one feed action item can be accessed from one of the large buttons at the bottom of the screen. I also appreciate the ability to turn off confirmations when marking all items as read (a huge plus for browsing feeds quickly) and the ability to add tags to feed items.
Even though I like parts of this app, Feeds can still be improved. For example, it only displays “syncing all items” during synchronization—it needs to display a progress bar. Also, like BoltReader, it displays feed folders that contain no new or unread items—it needs to have an option that lets you turn this off. Finally, it is sometimes inaccurate. For example, it often shows a feed as having a handful of unread items when really there are none—in some cases even when the feed’s last update was months ago.
- Mike DeSaro
- (developer Web site does not mention program)
Sticking with Google Reader
Of the native RSS reader apps I tested, Feeds and Doppler show enough promise to keep around for a while. I hope their developers add new features and find ways to improve their performance in future versions of the programs. Until they do, I’m sticking with Google Reader.