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What Is the Best Google Reader App on the iPad? 5

If you use Google Reader on your desktop, you want an iPad app that syncs with it. I hate the iPad version of the web Google Reader and seriously doubt any of Google’s developers use it regularly. Its single column layout does not take advantage of the large iPad screen at all. Going to an unread story from the main screen takes three touches (folder->feed->post) versus one click (folder) in the web version.

The iPad can do better, no?

Unfortunately, it seems that some iPad clients chose to be inspired by that concept. Feeddler [iTunes], for example, shows folders, then all feeds in that folder (not even ordered by read/unread status), then posts – another touch displays the story, finally.

So far, the best app I have found for reading Google Reader feeds on the iPad is the $4.99 NewsRack [iTunes]. It is fast and stands the daily test easily. It does have some quirks: for example, while it’s nice that you can touch the unread counter to display a feed’s unread posts only (it took me a while to figure that out!), the app then does not automatically open the first unread item.

Still, I prefer it to the $9.99 NetNewsWire [iTunes] app. Yes – I spent the $9.99 so you don’t have to. NetNetsWire does is much slower than NewsRack. It took a good five minutes to download all my feeds initially and every update takes at least a minute. NewsRack updates in 15-20 seconds. Despite selling for double the price as NewsRack, NetNewsWire does not seem to have more features; one feature that I missed was being able to zoom in to articles, which is possible in NewsRack.

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  1. Foripaduk says:

    I think that “Pulse news” is by far the best RSS reader on iPad – you can use it to log in your Google Reader and follow all your rss channels from there..

  2. iPadManiac says:

    Thanks for the comment! I will give Pulse a try and report back.

  3. Aj says:

    I would wait for Reeder, it should be out in a few days… http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/03/reeder-ipad/

  4. iPadManiac says:

    Yes, I will test that as well.

    I had a quick look at Pulse but was not impressed so far, at least not for reading the Google Reader feeds. You have to add each feed from Google Reader manually to the Pulse overview, which does not make sense at all. Anyway I will add a more detailed review of both apps later, as I’m on the road for a couple days.

  5. [...] initial review of Google Reader apps for the iPad selected the $4.99 NewsRack app as the winner. That’s because Reeder was not out yet at that [...]