While the iPhone interface for Google Reader is pretty slick, there are a few extra options that it could do with. The free version of MobileRSS [iTunes Store link], a Google Reader iPhone app makes up for what Google have missed out on.
Setting up the Google Reader app is simple. On launching it, you’ll be prompted to enter your Google credentials, and all of your feeds will be automatically imported into the app.
Going into the settings tab, you can further customize the app to your liking. You can control the appearance with two themes – default and black, how many items are viewed per page – with anywhere from 15 to 100 items, the font size – small to giant, and whether or not to use the ‘Google Mobilizer’ – a proxy server that optimizes websites for smaller screens.
If you’re on a limited data plan, you will also appreciate the ability to choose when MobileRSS synchronizes the unread items in your reader and whether or not images are downloaded ““ giving you the choices of over WiFi Only (which is the default setting), always or never. Lastly, under the settings tab, you can set up your social media accounts to share content.
Viewing your RSS feeds from MobileRSS will not feel very different from your Google Reader experience, so you’ll feel right at home using this Google Reader app. RSS feeds are categorized exactly as they appear in Google Reader. You can look at all of the new posts, shared items, starred items, notes, people you follow, and comments. In addition, you can also view all read items under one tab, and posts that you have kept unread. Any personal folders, categories or tags that you have created in Google Reader will also show up in MobileRSS.
When reading a post, MobileRSS allows you to share it using the traditional Google Reader shared items method, to share it with a note, to keep it unread or star it. Where MobileRSS truly excels is in its social media integration. You can share posts using email, Facebook or Twitter, you can bookmark them on Delicious, or save them for reading later on ReadItLater or InstaPaper – all without leaving the app.
MobileRSS also gives you the ability to view only the new posts, or all of the posts from any given feed. But the extent of control that you have over your feeds doesn’t end there. You can unsubscribe from feeds on the go, and delete folders and tags, using the ‘edit’ button in the top right hand corner of the screen, or by using the iPhone’s swipe method. You can also choose to hide any of the main categories at the top of the screen.
When you have any given feed open, MobileRSS makes it very easy to check for new items. Using the same method Tweetie uses to refresh the Twitter timeline, by simply swiping the screen down, and releasing.
Synchronizing MobileRSS with Google Reader can be done by hitting the refresh button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
MobileRSS supports landscape viewing, and you can lock the screen in landscape position. Download it from the iTunes Store.
How do you stay up to date with your favourite blogs on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments.
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