App of the Week: Feedly [iOS, Android, Web]
We’ve covered Feedly before (and we thought it was great!) but the RSS feed reader to smack all others is now much-improved. The web app has seen several updates in functionality and sharing features, and the recently released and updated mobile apps have been generating a lot of positive attention. And why not? The experience is nearly identical on both iOS and Android phones and tablets, and Feedly Mobile 2.0 easily competes with the likes of Pulse, Flipboard, and Zite. With an update or two, it might even blow those apps away completely.
Feedly’s minimalist magazine design focuses on the content, presenting it in an easy to read format that is complemented by the app’s simplistic navigation. The mobile apps are especially barebones, keeping the effects to a minimum, and the overall presentation is extremely appealing. The toolbar on the bottom of the screen allows you to like (on Google Reader), bookmark, email, and share articles on Twitter. You can also enable saving to Instapaper and Read It Later. The web app has several more options for sharing content, but the basics are available in Feedly Mobile 2.0, with the exception of one service: Facebook. That seemed like a bit of an oversight to me (and that’s me understating the obvious), but the developers assure us that Facebook functionality will be available in version 3.
One of the best things about Feedly is its learning algorithm. While you read, the app learns about the topics that interest you most, and does a great job configuring your personal magazine around those interests, bringing your favourite types of content to the forefront. You can always go through your sources one at a time, if you like, but taking advantage of Feedly’s different sections — each one tailored just for you — really helps to keep your reading moving and you engaged. Feedly also offers suggestions, periodically, of other sites that may suit your interests, which is helpful.
If you don’t feel like connecting with Google Reader, Feedly does have a host of content already available for you to sort through, but it works best when you are logged in.
Feedly Mobile 2.0 is every bit as fantastic as the web app. It’s incredibly responsive, and is beautiful to look at on all platforms, including iPhones and Android phones, the iPad, and Android tablets of different sizes (both 7″ and 10″). There are a few niceties packed into the HTML5 goodness, as well, such as an instant search bar, a black or white theme (which helps with night reading and can be changed with a shake), a history section, and the ability to start on the magazine layout or category of your choice. There are still a few kinks that need to be ironed out of the mobile apps, however, such as the lack of Facebook sharing, and that the app only works in portrait mode. Hopefully these issues will be resolved in an update or two. I’d also like to see some of the additional sharing options in the web app find their way to mobile as well, especially sharing on LinkedIn and Evernote.
Feedly is free, and it kicks butt. Get it.
- Feedly Firefox
- Feedly Chrome (Extension & App)
- Feedly Safari
- Feedly Mobile for iOS
- Feedly Mobile for Android
Now you know I love it — what about you?