iPad App Review: Interruption

iPad Apps

I usually only get to use my iPad at home when I have a WiFi connection. My first order of business is to check all of my news feeds, from Mac and tech blogs to actual world news. My number one problem with most readers is they are just too messy for me. There are several popular apps that have corrected that problem, but I just cannot get into using them. I have a lot of feeds I check and it just seems overwhelming most days. The developer of The Chalkpad contacted me about Interruption and it looked promising. Let’s see how it made out.

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The first thing I like about Interruption is the layout of the screen. All of the feeds are collected in themed tabs on the top which are always readily available.  There is no switching back to a home screen then flipping again to find the feeds. To help you get started, the app comes with several feeds and tabs ready to go. Tapping on one of the tabs will reveal all of the included feeds directly below. If there are more feeds than fit on the screen, simply swipe the list and they will slide to reveal the others. I think one reason I like this setup so much is the similarity to the way I use Firefox. I can click on News from my address bar for example and my favorite news apps are available. I love this form factor. All of the tabs and feeds are totally customizable to make the experience unique to each user. Change the names, delete or add quickly and easily.

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Getting all of your chosen feeds added is extremely easy. A button on the top right of the screen that looks like a box with lines will open the options.  The options will provide recommendations, allow for search and management of sources as well as add Google Reader content and add Facebook accounts. The options are simple, but allow the application to completely mold to the users preferences.  Again, this is why I love the application so much.

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To help grow the feed collection, Interruption provides users with a few recommendations in each of the default categories.  I will assume these recommendations will be updated sometimes.  To add one of the recommended feeds, tap the add button and it will be added to the chosen tab. Searching new feeds is easily accomplished through a typical search box.  When the feed is found, click the plus button, name the feed and choose a category to place it under.  You can see this in the second screen shot above.

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Managing feeds is easy through the options menu.  All of the installed feeds are listed in the appropriate category.  Once the Edit button is tapped, the feed can be renamed, assigned a category (including a new category) or deleted all together.  I love how all of the possibilities are found in one menu screen.  You could rename and reassign a feed into a new category with one click.  Extremely user friendly.

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Adding Google Reader feeds require a username and password.  Once entered, a Google Reader tab will be available.  I actually moved most of my Google Reader feeds into the correct categories once they were all uploaded.  Basically, if you are a Google Reader user, you can sign in and the app will automatically include your entire feed list.  To read your Facebook newsfeed, simply sign in and tap on the tab.  The current timeline will be shown allowing users to comment on status updates as well as update their own.  To change your status, tap in between the Facebook title and statuses.  According to the developer, Twitter and several other feeds should be added soon.  The goal is to make Interruption the only place users need to stop to get all of their news.

Since Interruption has been installed on my iPad, it is the first application I open every time my iPad is turned on.  I can easily say, it has also become my most used application.  I love the set up and use of tabs.  It seems to be cleaner than most feed collections I have used.  Customizing, adding and editing the categories or feeds is super easy and quick making this my favorite reader app.  You can get Interruption here in the app store for $2.99.

What I like: Clean, intuitive, simple and customizable.  My favorite reader app I have seen.

What could be improved: Add Twitter integration and this is a total hit!

About the Author

Travis Ehrlich
Travis is a high school teacher and coach in a small South Texas town. His love for gadgets began at a very early age, and he has been a cross between a jock and a geek for most of his life. He has two boys and a wonderful wife who lets him be a gadget freak. He is a Mac convert and has drank the whole pitcher of kool-aid! He is also an avid guitar player and loves the outdoors, especially hunting with both a bow and rifle.

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