RSS feed readers are still the best way to access and manage your favorite website article updates and topical interests. And while I recommend Google Reader as the best baseline RSS feed manager, attractively designed Mac desktop and iOS mobile applications like Reeder for the iPad ($4.99) make the browsing and reading experience even better.
Reeder has a well-deserved spot on our Best iPad Apps page for its minimalist approach and design, and ease-of-use. While Reeder does not rely on the visual orientation format of other iOS newsreaders including Flipboard, Zite, and Pulse, its clean, uncluttered user interface and presentation has a unique appeal.
Reeder for the iPad syncs with its Mac desktop ($4.99) and iPhone ($2.99) versions, but the user interface design is a little less cluttered than the other two platforms. You basically import RSS feed subscriptions into Reeder using either your Google Reader subscriptions and/or the web app and service, Readability.
Reeder presents your collection of feeds, depending upon how you have them organized, as paper stack icons (see above screenshot) in which you tap to access the latest article posts.
When you hold the iPad in portrait mode, Reeder presents a feed collection of articles listed by publication date. Unlike other newsreaders, Reeder doesn’t include the lead images or icons of listed articles. It simply presents the source name, headline, date stamp, and first few lines of each listed article.
You scroll down and browse the list, and when you tap on a selected article it presents the content in a clean read-only fashion, void the ads and other distracting content of the source page for the article.
When you hold the iPad in landscape view, Reeder presents content in two columns with the left side featuring the list of article feeds, and the wider right column contains the selected article.
A toolbar appears at the top of each opened to article, and it includes tools for changing the font size, starring the article for later review, marking an article as unread, as well as sharing an article to other apps and services like Delicious, Pocket, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook, and Readability.
You can also of course link articles in an email message or open them in the iOS version of Safari.
Reeder makes use of the multitouch finger gesture features built into the iPad. You can for example pinch and close an article with your index finger and thumb to get back to the homepage of collected feeds.
Scrolling to the end of an article and swiping it up with your index finger represent the next article in a feed collection. Similarly, swiping down at the top of an opened article will take you to the previous article in the collection.
The left sidebar of Reeder also includes buttons for navigating between articles, reloading feeds, starring articles, and getting back to the homepage.
Reeder doesn’t include tools for tagging articles or even creating folders for managing starred articles, but it does provide an uncluttered interface for casual browsing and reading.
Let us know what you think of Reeder, and what features you like to see added. Also, tell us about your favorite RSS tool, if it’s not this one.