Readable with Face Detection – The best way to read the web. ($2.99) by Joindup is a website reader that auto scrolls letting you read articles, hands free. There is even a facial recognition feature that will stop the scrolling when your face is not detected by the front-facing camera.
Readable is an RSS feed reader that will let you access any blog roll or RSS-enabled website without having to be logged into an account. Just type in the URL and it will “make it readable” by taking out all of the extra web noise, like backgrounds and ads, and turns it into a book-like format for easy reading. There is also an option to hide links for pure reading.
What makes this app so much more interesting than other readers is the auto-scroll. You can set the article to scroll without having to touch anything. If your hands are preoccupied, or you don’t want to distract people with your swipe gesture, you can just read along at the pace that you set. Even more amazing is the facial detection feature. Using your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad 2’s front-facing camera, you can tell the app to only scroll when your face is detected in the camera lens. If you have to set your iDevice down, the article will stop scrolling and pick back up when your face returns.
You can also read posts from your Google Reader, Delicious and Read it Later feeds. You can save articles to the apps clipboard for re-reading later in “Paste and Play.” When you reload the article, the app will offer to start from the exact section that the reader was viewing before sending it to the clipboard.
You can share the articles you are reading via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, or you can view it directly in Safari, Google Reader on the web, Delicious, Pinboard and Read it Later on the web.
As an RSS reader, it is not ideal. The organization capabilities are nonexistent. You can’t view your subscriptions separately. They are only listed in order of posting. You can’t just scroll or swipe to the next post. You have to go back to the feed list and pick the next article.
Overall, this is an interesting idea and has a lot of features, but it may not be for everyone. It falls short in the organizational capabilities as an RSS feed reader. The auto-scroll and facial detection features are what makes this app stand out, but it may not be worth the $2.99 for such specific functions.