Not everything worth reading comes from social media – the web is still a very rich treasure trove of interesting information. The trouble is negotiating the hundreds of millions of blogs and other sites. As Apple dropped RSS support from Safari and Mail in Mountain Lion, we need a new way to access our RSS feeds.
In the old days, RSS readers looked a lot like email clients. A list of feeds that might be categorised into folders on the left and the content on the right. Pulp dismisses this old paradigm by presenting your RSS feeds so that they look like a newspaper.
Feeds can be categorised into sections with each section represented by a tab at the top of the
screen. To add a feed you simply press the edit button and you can either add a new section or a new feed using one of the ‘+’ buttons that appears. You can also import feeds from Google Reader or any other OPML file source.
When you start using Pulp, it is already preloaded with a bunch of interesting feeds.
Feeds can be synchronised between a Mac or iPad using Pulp through its iCloud integration but there’s no way to sync with Google Reader or other online RSS services. The iPad version costs $5.49.
iReader is a competent but unspectacular news reader. It adopts a three-pane interface with feed categories on the extreme left with a list of articles in the centre and articles displayed on the right.
There’s not a lot of flashiness: Everything is rendered in basic fonts – which you can change in the settings – and images and text are laid out in line without any text wrapping. In other words, this is a very basic RSS reader.
The software is very easy to use. Adding feeds and folders is straightforward and you can synchronise it with Google Reader. This is handy as you can easily use different readers on different devices. If you read an interesting article you can easily share it using Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or save it for offline use.
Although iReader is a very basic application it does work reliably. It also integrates with the Notification Center so you know when something new arrives and, for the price, works well.
If you like FlipBoard on your iPad then you’ll probably like MixTab. It’s a visually striking application that presents RSS feeds in a rich display. Feeds can be grouped, but rather than using generic folder icons, you can see an image from one of the stories that has been retrieved. The interface can be changed as there are several different themes.
MixTab works well if you have a Magic Trackpad as the interface works well with swipe gestures. Although MixTab doesn’t sync with Google Reader it can import feeds from OPML files. You can also import feeds from other MixTab users who have shared their collections.
There’s also an iPad version of MixTab, that’s free as well, and you can view your feeds online.