Keeping a track of all the latest stories being posted by all the sites and blogs you love can be a difficult task. But, if you use Google Reader to manage your RSS feeds then Mr. Reader ($3.99, App Store) is a must have app for your iPad. The app takes full advantage of the large screen display of iPad and features smart gestures which offers enhanced reading experience.
When you launch the app you would need to enter your Google Reader account username and password. Once your account is verified Mr. Reader for iPad will synchronize your feeds, starred and shared items, tags and friends. The developer has done a great job in making sure that the interface stays true to the official version of Google Reader on the web and yet offer unique features which makes reading the feeds a lot more efficient. We really liked the minimalistic two column UI design where all your feeds are on the left and the reading pane (Article View) on the right.
You tap on the left pane to select the feed you want to read and the right pane displays the list of all the unread and read items. You are presented with a summary of each story and each item has quick controls that allow you to tag, access service menu (more details in a bit) mark story as read, starred or shared. So, in essence if you just wanted to browse through the feeds and not really get into the details the app has you covered with ‘Mark all as read’ option too.
If you prefer reading each article in detail all you need to do is tap on the summary and the app will offer the complete RSS content. There are many publishers who only allow a preview of their content while the full article can be read online. Mr. Reader features inbuilt browser so you don’t have to exit the app to read the full story. When reading the articles the app presents you with four options to choose from. You can view the stories in RSS, Web, Mobilizer or Readability format and the app even remembers your last choice for each feed. Once you have read the story navigating to the next one is as easy as pulling the page down to go to previous article or pull up to go next article (like pull to refresh in Twitter app).
The app has a plethora of options to customize your reading and sharing experience. You can change the font, text size and even the most used services to share or saving content for later. Mr. Reader comes with four pre-installed themes which vary in color scheme and in addition to these options you can even change the sounds of different actions.
Image caching for offline viewing is also supported that worked just as advertised in our tests. From folder creation to renaming the feed the app allows you to manage and organize your feeds too.
Now, back to service menu which I touched briefly earlier. Wouldn’t it be great if the app that helps you discover great articles also allows you to use your favorite sharing, saving or bookmarking service? The ‘Service Menu Composition’ is where you can configure and choose preferred browser to open links, send to social networking and bookmarking sites, allow you to create tasks / notes and even save the article for later using supported third party apps.
Mr. Reader is an all-in-one RSS reader app which brings advanced reading and feed management features to your iPad. If you’ve never used RSS feeds before this app is a perfect way to create a list of your favorite sites so that you never miss out important updates and news.
- Feed management
- Bookmarking and sharing services
- Offline caching
- Would like to see more themes