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Review: The Early Edition

May 6, 2010


The Early Edition is an RSS reader that combines the digital age of websites with the paper format of newspapers. The app gives you a format where there are multiple articles on one page laid out with the most recent articles on the top. The app supports any RSS feed you can think of.


You're presented with a daily feed of articles from your aggregated news sources with the headline, and a catchy blurb. You can flip through the article pages with a flip mechanic like a simple version of iBooks. The app adds to the newspaper feel by putting "The Early Edition" at the top of every feed in classic Newspaper font.

The Good

The Early Edition's user interface is to be commended. It’s a beautiful way to read an RSS feed, especially in comparison to the typical list view that many others offer. It’s also a great app to give you that newspaper feel, but customized with the articles you care about. The app gives you numerous articles at once in a streamlined interface to see the title, and a little blurb to find a specific one that may peek your interest. You can read the full article in the main pane, and have a full web browser to go to other articles from the web interface view. Switching between articles is relatively easy though you can't simply swipe back. The page animation is a nice touch though it doesn’t work even remotely close to as well as iBooks. Overall it gives you a clean interface to be more conducive to reading multiple various articles. If you’re looking for an RSS “Reader” this one should be near the top of your list.

The Bad

The app definitely looks good, but there are still some problems. The biggest is the sheer hassle to import rss feeds. You need to find it in safari, and then copy and paste the link on your iPad one feed at a time. Once it’s all set up it’s a breeze, but the initial start up is a pain. This is being worked on in an update, but as of now the app doesn’t sync with google reader which many users have for their RSS feeds. The display itself is nice, but is still a little bland and boring with only the top image showing. It would be great to see little images of more articles to be more like a real newspaper. The page flip animation is nice, but it takes a second or two to activate after swiping the screen, and it only works on the main view of articles. Another concern is that you read these articles only on iPad as the app doesn't sync with what you read on your computer or iPhone etc. Another problem is that once you read an article it doesn’t change in any way from being not bold to being removed completely. It would be great for read articles to archive, and not just archive a day at a time. One final problem is that each time you launch the app it takes quite awhile until you’re reading articles, and I only had ten feeds, so heavy users may see much longer load times.

The Verdict

The Early Edition is one of the best iPad RSS readers by giving you a great interface to read all of your various feeds. Others may be more feature rich, but none are more inviting to reading as The Early Edition. The app has quite a few problems from the lack of features (including syncing) to long load times and no way to hide viewed articles. As it stand The Early Edition is worth considering for $4.99 depending on how much you use RSS feeds, and if you want looks over functionality.

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