July 19, 2011
Apple can add to the iPhone as many enhancements as they want, but the handset will still have one limitation; the screen is sometimes too small for optimal reading. However, Float Reader for the iPhone/iPod touch has arrived making reading on the handset easier and more flexible than ever. Created by Scribd, the social publishing site, the app helps you explore your favorite web content, including news and magazines, from one place. Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and Scribd members can use the app to make recommendations to others. Once logging into the app for the first time, users are asks to identify those topics they find most interesting from a list of 20 different categories. These include Humor, News & Analysis, and Style & Fashion, just to give three examples. That’s it. Once you select your topics, you’re good to go. Magically, the feeds to each of your social networks appear, as well as links to recommended websites that have been chosen based on your previous selections. By clicking on a site name, you’ll have access to its latest articles, each devoid of external links, ads, or additional types of cluster. When clicking on the glasses icon, you’ll be able to change the font to suit your current needs using nearly 20 presets. Two of these are Night Time and Sunlight Reading, both which work as you’d expect. Love an article? Simply add it to your reading list for later viewing, both via the app and Float website. As an added bonus, Float actually remembers each article you’ve accessed and keeps it listed under the library page. If the Float Reader has one flaw, it's that the service is not available on the iPad. While a Float Reader for iPad really isn't necessary, given the larger size of the iPad, it would be nice to be able to access your articles for later viewing on the iDevice. Unfortunately, you cannot access http://www.float.com via Mobile Safari. Instead, you are asked to download and install the iPhone app. Since it isn't universal, the app won't look nearly as nice as it needs to be on the iPad. Still, for use on the iPhone, Float Reader is a terrific app that comes highly recommended. Best of all, it is absolutely free.