Cappuccino News Reader ($0.99) by Bloop is an elegantly crafted Google Reader app for your iPhone. While my GReader app of choice is still Reeder, I still enjoy exploring the different options available.
Staying on top of the news is part of what I do on a daily basis, so despite many people saying “RSS is dead,” let’s face it — it isn’t. I could never just rely on something like Twitter to get all of my news — there would be too much noise. I need a dedicated experience for going through all the daily news, so I don’t think I’ll be abandoning the RSS method very soon. And when you combine that need with the desire for a good-looking app, you’ll arrive at Cappuccino News Reader. Too bad this app doesn’t give you a cappuccino to go with the news.
To use the app, you will have to log in to your GReader account. Unfortunately, if you use something else, like Fever, then you won't be able to use Cappuccino. For those who use multiple accounts (e.g., one for work and one for personal use), you'll be sad to know that Cappuccino can only be used with one account at a time. However, I don't think this should be a problem for the majority of GReader users.
Once you’re in, the main screen of Cappuccino is broken down into three sections: Generic (All Items and Today), Folders, and All Subscriptions. While this may work for someone that does not have a lot of subscribed feeds, this is actually a lot for me to scroll through. Fortunately, I can just give a folder a tap to view all of the feeds that I have within it, as well as an “All Item” view.
Refresh with the button in the bottom left. Cappuccino allows you to search for and add new feeds, as well as deleting excess ones.
In the article list, read items are grayed out, while new items appear normally. If you prefer complete organization, filter between All, Unread, and Starred. The eye button marks all as read, and you can rename or move a feed somewhere else with the folder button.
In article view, you can choose between Preview or Web view. Whichever one is selected will be how you view items. Preview is basically the “read” mode, while Web is a web view. The Share menu has plenty of options, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instapaper, Pocket, Delicious, email, and more. Other basics are included, like starring and marking unread and read. Cappuccino depends on navigating with buttons, so you can’t swipe through articles.
There isn’t a whole lot to Cappuccino — it does what you would expect any RSS app to do. The settings allow you to manage your account, choose how many feeds to synchronize, and how many feeds per subscription. There’s also a “Synchronize” button, but this seems a bit pointless. So far the settings are barebones — I would love to see more options for customizing the app to work for each individual.
My biggest gripe though, is the slow syncing, at least when compared to the competition. Cappuccino has also crashed a few times. I believe that once sync is sped up a bit and interface gets some polish, the overall experience in the app will be much better.
Cappuccino is off to a good start, but needs a bit more work before it can be great. Currently, I'll stick with Reeder, but I look forward to seeing where Cappuccino goes. If you'd like to try it out for yourself, don't miss the free version. There is also a Mac version to check out as well.
For more Google Reader apps, don't miss this App Showdown I wrote back in June.