I don’t require much in an RSS reader, I just want a list of new items, broken up into folders. No need for fancy animations, layouts that look like magazines, or silly flipping transitions. My favorite RSS reader pre-Google Reader shutdown was FeeddlerPro, and I was heartbroken to leave it behind. But the developer for FeeddlerPro isn’t supporting Feedly, and since that’s become the simplest platform to keep my computer, Windows Phone, and iPad in sync, I needed a new app — one that wasn’t the Feedly app, because I really hate the Feedly iPad app’s style over substance approach. Luckily for me, I stumbled across Mr Reader, and it is everything I had hoped for in an RSS reader
Mr Reader may have a silly name, but the layout is all business. There’s some visual flair with different skins, but the design is very clean. Along the left there are the usual folders every Google Reader junkie knows well; unread feeds, starred items, and the individual folders and uncategorized feeds. Opening up a headline brings you the RSS feed, but you can run the article through web view, Readability, Instapaper and Pocket all from the same view window. You can mark all as read, star items, email them, tag them, or share articles over social media. You can also search within your feeds, something I haven’t used much but I’ve seen plenty of complaints about apps that don’t offer this.
There’s one other neat feature to Mr Reader that is pretty cool, especially as RSS is in a state of flux. You can have the app check for dead feeds and look for updated versions of your current feeds, so you can prune those dead sites that haven’t updated in years from your RSS portfolio. You can delete dead feeds, but I couldn’t figure out how to migrate feeds to newer URLs automatically; there was a migrate button but it didn’t do anything when I tried to select it. In the meantime, running that once in a while will help flag feeds that may soon go out of date or need to be updated, and hopefully, automatic migration will come in a future update.
Best of all, Mr Reader isn’t just for new Feedly Cloud users. It also supports BazQux, Feedbin, FeedHQ, and Fever, so you have other sync options as well. I can’t speak to the other platforms, but if you are a Feedly user the experience is excellent. Feeds sync very quickly, and stay synced across Feedly Cloud and NextGen Reader on Windows Phone with ease.
I can’t say enough good things about Mr Reader. I was really struggling with Google Reader’s demise, and this definitely helps take the sting out of it. If you’re looking for an RSS reader that looks like a traditional reader, with categories, folders, headlines, and a simple but powerful interface, Mr Reader is an excellent solution!
MSRP: $3.99 on iTunes (iPad only)
What I Like: Fast, clean interface; Simple design is very similar to Google Reader; Easy to use but offers many powerful options; Customizable themes
What Needs Improvement: Subscriptions checker doesn’t automatically migrate feeds