RSS Readers For The iPad

The announcement that Google Reader will shut down on July 1 has left many users and app developers scrambling for a new way to handle their RSS feeds. For iPad RSS readers, the problem is that Google Reader was the easiest way to implement two core features: obtaining feed information and syncing. In Google's absence, apps will need to tie into a different service, or create their own service. It is too early to say which solution most apps will choose, or which solution will ultimately prove to be more effective, as many of the options are still in development. Until Google Reader actually shuts down, it will be difficult to tell which apps will be "best" in a post-Google world. Thus, this AppGuide is a little different: apps that have not implemented a post-Google plan have been moved to a separate list, with information about their previous ranking and proposed plan featured prominently, which means that there are far fewer featured apps than normal. Rest assured that we will update this list when more information is available.

Essential Apps

Notable Apps

Decent Apps

Apps That Used Google Reader

  • $3.99

    Mr. Reader

    by Oliver Fürniß

    PREVIOUSLY ESSENTIAL. Mr. Reader's developer is currently exploring options for syncing post-July 1, but has not yet committed to a solution. Hopefully, on July 1, Mr. Reader will work just as well as it does today. Currently, Mr. Reader offers the best combination of features, presentation, ease of use, and customization. The interface is fairly standard, with feeds and folders presented in columns, but it can be customized with themes, mobilizers, gestures, and format. A recent update added URL scheme support to make Mr. Reader the premiere app for sharing content found in RSS feeds. The fact that the presence of so many options doesn’t feel overwhelming is a testament to how well designed Mr. Reader is.

  • Free

    Reeder for iPad

    by Silvio Rizzi

    PREVIOUSLY NOTABLE. Reeder for iPad relies on Google Reader syncing, but its developer has committed to an update that supports Feedbin's paid service, local RSS syncing, Fever, and other services to be determined later. However, it's unclear whether these fixes will be in place on July 1. As an app, Reeder for iPad has a clean, minimalistic aesthetic that puts the focus directly on reading. Reeder boasts lightning fast syncing, integrates Readability, and incorporates gesture controls. However, Reeder may frustrate those who value customization and control. That's because Reeder offers little in the way of customization and doesn't even include basics like a tutorial or help function. Hopefully, the forthcoming update will also include the ability to add, delete, or manage your feeds, none of which the app currently supports.

  • $4.99

    Feeddler RSS Reader Pro

    by C.B. Liu

    PREVIOUSLY NOTABLE. The developer of Feeddler RSS Reader Pro posted that the app will implement its own post-Google Reader solution. First, Feeddler will support a free in-app syncing service, and will later add a service with browser support for a small (likely monthly) fee. This plan should reassure current users that the app will still be alive on July 1, but its proprietary nature isn't likely to entice switchers to the app. Feeddler's text-based approach seems designed for news junkies who browse many feeds regularly. Unlike the more recent trend towards image-heavy, "magazine-style" layouts, Feeddler opts for simple lists, with no additional clutter on the page. The app is also very customizable and speedy, even if a user chooses to cache multiple feeds.

  • $4.99

    River of News for Google Reader RSS

    by Idyllic Code

    PREVIOUSLY NOTABLE. River of News should continue after Google Reader shutters, but it's not yet clear how. The developer has stated that it's too soon to choose a new syncing solution, but mentioned iCloud or NewsBlur as possibilities. In terms of functionality, River of News turns your RSS feeds into a scrollable "river" of articles that you can navigate via user-customizable gestures. This layout is excellent for leisurely perusal of your feeds, but quick overviews prove difficult due to the app’s need to pause and load whenever you change views (e.g., if you switch from looking at all unread to a specific feed or folder). Although the loading time isn’t very long, it can be frustrating for anyone with many feeds or folders, especially if they haven’t checked their feeds in a while.

  • Free

    Byline (Universal)

    by Phantom Fish

    PREVIOUSLY DECENT. When Google Reader shuts down, Byline is considering syncing via Feedly or Newsblur, but hasn't yet made any decisions. What sets Byline apart from other apps is its ability to cache all or some of your feeds for offline reading. Offline reading is a very useful feature, but Byline’s implementation slows the entire app down, which is not ideal. More, the ads in the free version are very distracting.

Alternate Versions of Listed Apps

  • Free

    Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad and iPhone

    by C.B. Liu

  • $1.99

    lire (Full-text RSS)

    by Fliper

  • $2.99


    by Silvio Rizzi

Other Apps