Reddit Releases Official Mobile Apps, but Do You Need Them?
It is the Internet’s most popular discussion board, but surprisingly, Reddit did not have official mobile apps of its own till recently. Of course, in the meanwhile, developers had made several third-party apps for Reddit. So the question is, are the official apps the best Reddit mobile apps?
A few things before we dive in:
- There is no major difference between the Android and iOS versions of the app.
- It’s completely free and doesn’t have any in-app purchases.
- You don’t need a Reddit account to use the app.
Note: The apps are region-restricted to the US. Non-American Android users can install the APK manually after downloading it from APK Mirror. And iPhone users have a workaround to download apps from the US App Store .
So Is It the Best Reddit App?
Straight up, it’s not the best. But it’s still pretty good! And it is a big improvement over using the new mobile Reddit site.
Here’s what the app offers:
- Support for multiple accounts. Account switching is also pretty simple, so that’s a big plus in its favor.
- Details of your profile, such as when you joined, history, saved posts, comments, uploaded images, your Reddit age, and a way to keep an eye on your Karma .
- A quick-post floating button on browsing screens lets you post an image, text, or link without much fuss, automatically detecting the subreddit you’re on.
- Your inbox is a pane to quickly browse private messages, comments, post replies, and mails from moderators. Tremendously useful!
- You can blur NSFW images by default, so no one looking over your shoulder thinks you’re a perv. In case you didn’t know that NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work, you really need to read our guide to Internet slang words .
- Swipe in from the left to see the subreddits you subscribed to, as well as those you’re moderating. Keeping an eye on those is essential to building a popular Reddit community .
- There’s a dark theme, called “Night Mode” that looks quite cool.
That’s about the full scope of the Reddit app. On a smartphone, it’s a more pleasant experience than the Reddit mobile site, even though the design is quite similar.
If you have been browsing Reddit on your mobile browser, the Reddit app is a good upgrade to keep the things you like while getting just a little more. But it’s still pretty limited.
What’s Wrong with the Reddit App?
Keep in mind, this is a new app, and it’s constantly being updated, so some of the issues mentioned here might be addressed by the time you read it. Apparently the app makers are monitoring the Reddit Mobile subreddit for the most-requested features.
That said, here’s what’s wrong so far:
- Posts don’t get greyed out or turn red once you read them. Already read it? No way of knowing!
- Each post looks like a card, and it auto-expands images, GIFs, and videos. However, you can’t play GIFs or videos directly — which is terribly annoying. You’ll need to tap to open the post, then tap again to open the video. It’s too many taps! You might want to switch to compact view, which shows media in a thumbnail instead of expanding it.
- The app doesn’t support gestures at this time. Given how many times it makes you tap in so many places, swipes and gestures could have reduced this tremendously.
- No notifications on your phone.
- You need to know Reddit syntax, which is basic Markdown syntax , to write well-formatted posts. There is no helpful toolbar for rich editing.
- The tools for moderators are much more limited than what they get on the web.
- It has a lot of bugs so far and crashes often.
None of these are deal-breakers, but they do hamper the Reddit experience. All in all, if you’re a seasoned Redditor, you’ll find far better apps for Reddit on the Play Store and the App Store.
What Are the Best Reddit Apps?
With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or others, the official app offers features that you won’t get in third-party apps. There is no such restriction with Reddit, however, so the third-party apps can go toe-to-toe with the official one. Let’s take a look at your top options.
Android: Reddit Is Fun (Free)
Probably the best free Reddit app for Android, Reddit Is Fun has everything that the official app offers and then some. You can customize it to your heart’s content, preview all types of media without opening the post, set up rules for how to open certain types of links, history saving options, and much more.
If you’re used to browsing Reddit on your desktop, you’ll take to Reddit Is Fun like a fish to water. Check out our full review to know more.
Download: Reddit Is Fun for Android (Free)
Other Android apps to check out: Sync for Reddit (Free), Reddit Offline (Free)
iOS: Alien Blue (Free)
The iPhone and iPad app Alien Blue was so popular that Reddit actually bought it! Use it for a bit and you’ll immediately know why. It’s gorgeous, smooth, and intuitive. It is loaded with features like auto-uploading to Imgur, iOS notifications, and a lovely “Readability” view for clutter-free reading.
You can upgrade to the paid Pro account for even more features, but the basic free version is great nonetheless. And again, read our detailed review of Alien Blue for more details on the app.
Download: Alien Blue for iOS [No Longer Available]
Android and iOS: BaconReader (Free)
Not everyone believes in the philosophy that you should buy the Android or Apple ecosystem . If you have one platform’s smartphone and another’s tablet, you might want an app that syncs perfectly across both. BaconReader is what you’re looking for then.
Available for both Android and iOS, it looks as pleasing as Reddit Is Fun and Alien Blue, has most of the important features you’ll want from those apps, and performs the same way across platforms so your muscle memory will keep you going.
What Do You Think?
So Redditors, we’re interested in your thoughts on the mobile app debate! Let’s talk in the comments:
- Have you tried the new official Reddit mobile app? Did you love it or hate it?
- What features do you want in the official app?
- Which third-party Reddit app do you think is best for Android and for iOS?