As a tech writer, I read a lot of RSS feeds. Hundreds, maybe more. All day, every day. It's one of the first things I check every morning, and the last before bed. And dozens of times throughout the day. When I first started as a writer, Google Reader was my go-to RSS reader, both on my PCs and mobile. It didn't take long to realize GR's shortcomings on both platforms, however. So, after a little convincing from Artem, I switched to FeedDemon on my computers. It's a fantastic application and has increased my ability to find good, relevant content by at least 10 fold.
Have you ever seen a mind-blowing app that's sure to change the way you use Android... only to be discouraged by a $6.99 asking price? Or maybe one of your regular apps has updated and broken some core functionality, and you have to uninstall it and just wait for the next version. Now there's a service that will keep tabs on your somewhat neglected apps and convert it into an RSS feed for your favorite reader. AppFeed.net is free, easy and an absolute lifesaver if you're not in the habit of constantly checking the Google Play Store.
First, log in to the service here, using your Google or Twitter account.
Google's dedicated RSS aggregator, simply called Reader, received an update today that brings full Honeycomb support, as well as a few minor improvements to the app. Added features include a new layout and an improved method of marking items as read, which consists of long pressing on the item.
The Honeycomb layout is a familiar one -- it shares the same look-and-feel as its desktop brother now. While the inclusion of a new Honeycomb interface is a much-needed one, I can honestly say the experience doesn't compare to that of the other RSS readers in the Market, namely Newsr.
When it comes to podcasting applications on Android, there are certain ones that stand above the rest. Among those, BeyondPod Podcast Manager may be the top dog, and for this weekend only, you can score this awesome app for just $1.99 as opposed to the usual $6.99.
BeyondPod is packed full of features (so many, I just had to use bullet points. I do love bullet points):
With no shortage of RSS reader apps in the Android Market, it's getting pretty hard for a new one to grab our attention. However, Feedly, which now has a (beta) version available in the Android Market, does manage to stand out above most of the crowd.
Having been available for some time as both a desktop browser extension and an iOS app, Feedly sports an extremely simple interface and syncs with your Google Reader account. Rather than presenting a text-only list of headlines, you get a full-screen view of your first item, complete with pictures, headlines, and the very beginning of the post.
The Google Reader app for Android is streamlined, slick and easy to use. It performs one function and it does it well: reading your RSS feeds.
So, I was pleasantly surprised when the app updated today with some additional useful features.
Firstly, two new widgets have been added, one to show the unread count and one to display new stories in a news ticker format. The unread count widget can be set to show the number of unread stories in a feed, label, person or on all your items. The news ticker widget scrolls through any of the RSS feeds in Reader.
Completely unexpectedly and without much fanfare, Google just dropped its official Google Reader app into the Market. I gave it a quick look and found that it's basically a great interface to the mobile version, lacking any advanced features (such as pre-caching) or settings.
The 3 great things about it are:
- Google Reader login integration, which uses your phone's built-in Google auth, after you grant it permission. This means the app never asks for login credentials.
- The app syncs everything with the web version very seamlessly.
- It's fast and doesn't hang anywhere, unlike gReader.
Now the bad things: