Reeder is an iPhone app built for Google Reader. Until now I’ve relied on Byline as my Google Reader client on the iPhone but I was disappointed by the sync speed on Byline. it could take ages to sync feeds which was pretty frustrating. I tried Reeder as the sync speeds were allegedly a lot better than Byline – I wasn’t disappointed.
When you first start Reeder you enter your Google Account details and it then sync’s with your Google Reader account syncing unread items, starred items and your notes. If you have a lot of starred items or notes this first sync can take a while although you can change the amount of itms synced via Reeder’s preferences if you think this could cause problems. On first launch i could immediately see that Reeder was far faster than Byline at syncing feeds.
Another improvement with Reeder is how good the app looks. I much prefer reading articles in Reeder than in Byline. The buttons at the bottom allow quick sorting by data or feed and also viewing unread and starred articles. There is also support for a number of third party services – Instapaper or ReadItLater, Delicious or Pinboard and you can tweet or e-mail a story from Reeder.
The latest update also includes swipe support so that you can quickly favourite or read an article. Swipe left on an article to mark/unmark as favourite and swipe right to mark as read/unread. You can also quickly mark as read a number of articles and thankfully there is a warning before doing this step in case you select by accident. In usage so far I’ve had no issues in syncing with Google Reader and the app and the website have kept in sync.
One area that Reeder is poor in is offline reading. At first I didn’t think that Reeder had an offline mode but it does – one that is pretty buggy. When offline, selecting a post takes around 20 seconds to appear. I can only assume this is a bug and it’s not intended to work this way. Another issue with offline content is that images are not cached as can be seen in the screenshot above. These two flaws mean I still have Byline installed for when I’m travelling by air.
If the next update fixes these issues (which according to the dev’s Twitter stream it will along with even faster syncing) then Reeder becomes a must have app for anyone that uses Google Reader. If you never need offline access then it’s a must buy now at only £1.79.