MobileRSS: great “one trick” app
One of the best features, IMHO, of the iPhone platform is that it encourages simple little one trick apps. MobileRSS from Nibirutech is a simple client for Google Reader. That’s it. That is all it does. But it does it’s one trick so well that I am actually using Google Reader on my iPhone and enjoying the experience.
And of course, managing, and enjoying your Google Reader subscriptions is, in actuality, no simple thing. The fact that MobileRSS makes it simple is a testimony to just how good the app is!
MobileRSS does anything and everything you might want to do with your Google Reader account, and does it all with admirable speed and ease. (Or almost…actual feed management tools will come in the next update.) Your subscription folders appear as they do on the web client, with badges to let you know how many unread items you have in each. When you touch a subscription folder, it opens in list view with all it content subscriptions, each with their own badge for unreads. You can open the whole folder and see all the unreads from all you subscriptions, or you can open individual feeds. Unread items are marked with the little blue unread circle common to many iPhone apps.
Touching an unread feed opens the item in MobileRSS’s reading view…an elegant implementation that includes images and lays out the text in an easy to read on the iPhone fashion. You even have the option of opening the original in the browser module without leaving the MobileRSS app. So fine.
There is an action button the bottom of the screen that in list view allows you to mark all as unread. With the reading view open you have icons for adding a note, opening the item in Safari (will exit app), favoring the item, sharing the item, and an action icon that allows you to email, tweet, or send the item to Instapaper or ReedItLater. Excellent!
Did I say all this is done with admirable speed. Marking all items read, for instance, takes far less time on MobileRSS than it does on the web client.
All in all, I can no imagine a better Google Reader client…and, in fact, I can not imagine a better Google Reader experience. I find myself using my iPhone just as often as I use the web client…and I suspect I will come to actually prefer interacting with Google Reader via iPhone, the more I use the app.
I should mention that MobileRSS is available in two versions: free and paid. Free is, of course, ad supported, and lacks the share function. I tried the free version and liked it so well that I bought the paid version. My theory is that Nibirutech has done such a good job on the app that I want to keep them in business…just to see what they come up with next!
Just a simple one trick app…but what an excellent trick it is! iTunes link: MobileRSS
[By the way: I created this post in record time using the new WordPress 2 app on the iPhone in conjunction with the web WordPress composition page. More on that in another post.]