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What's the best RSS app for android when traveling?

Mobile or tablet, here's my review of android RSS apps worth installing

RSS = Really Simple Syndication. The chances are your favorite website has an RSS feed, which means instead of visiting it, you can have all their latest publications delivered to you.

Still not sure about RSS? Check out my guide on what is RSS. Otherwise, read on!

What I'm looking for in an rss app:

Displaying content well. Ease of use. Low bandwidth consumption. Speed. Offline caching. Photos. Synch ability with Google reader*.

I really enjoy RSS feeds, they deliver content to me from the places I want to read it from. On mobile I found it a struggle to get an app that could do it all.

The biggest issue was finding apps that displayed content well. A lot of them reformat blog posts and they come out not looking good at all. Moreover, a lot of mobile RSS apps consumed a staggering amount of bandwidth, not good when you're traveling!

* I use Google reader online to store feeds. However the service is closing in July 2013 so I'm relying on the OPML export files. If you are using Google Reader I advise you to back up your RSS subscriptions to an OPML file as soon as possible!


RSS android apps for travel


FeedR: Not much comes close to this RSS app in terms of getting just about everything right.

Pros:
Displays feeds much like they are online, well formatted
Removes and adds feeds with ease
Syncs with no errors to Google reader*
Set a time to update all feeds
Set it to only update on WiFi or Mobile network
Nice simple options to mark feeds read

Cons:
Little slow in updating large number of subscriptions
Small ad at the bottom
Handles podcasts badly
Doesn't always cache images for offline viewing

Comment:
There's very little I don't like about this app. It works, and works well. The ad at the bottom has never interfered with my reading of feeds. I would like it to synch a little faster, and consume less battery when doing so.

Download Feedr for Android here (free):


Taptu: Looking for a multi-functional RSS app with great eye candy? Taptu does all that and more!

Pros:
Displays feed titles beautifully
Fast updating
Low bandwidth consumption
Huge pre selected lists of genre related feeds
Great Support
Available for Android or iPhone

Cons:
Steep learning curve to get things set up right
99 feed limit
Adds @taptu on some rss shared tweets
Doesn't show all images on a feed

Comment:
Imagine streams of the best RSS feeds already set up for you in hand categories. Tech feeds, photography feeds, and travel feeds from some of the best blogs out there. Taptu has all this ready for you, and you can add to these streams too, or create your own. All wrapped up in a low bandwidth and great looking RSS app that I highly recommend you try.

Download Taptu for Android here (free):


Google Reader: Surely the king of online feed readers must be the best on mobile too? (*Google have announced it will be closing this service in July 2013)

Pros:
Fast
Syncs directly with your google account
Watch embedded videos
Clean looking

Cons:
Not going to be around much longer*
Poor GUI makes it hard to use
Hard to navigate through a lot of feeds
The app feels cheap, and unfinished in many respects compared to others
Mark all read button is hard on mobile as it's easy to click by mistake

Comment:
I really thought this app would work well, sadly it's GUI was too annoying for me. The best thing about this service is that you can tap into it via other apps. Unfortunately Google is closing this service in July 2013.

Download Google Reader for Android here (free)


gReader: The unofficial Google reader of mobile apps, is it any better?

Pros:
Clean looking
Syncs directly with your Google account easily*
Watch embedded videos

Cons:
Lack of folder view makes it hard to sort through feeds
Slow to update feeds

Comment:
Again I thought this app would improve upon Googles native app. It's a little better, but I still have issues sorting through feeds. I put them into categories for a reason, this app and Googles own seem to display feeds alphabetically. *Another app that's in trouble due to its dependancy on Google reader.

Download gReader for Android here (free)


Feedly: The contender to the RSS reader crown?

Pros:
Clean looking
Syncs directly with your Google account easily*(working on their own system)
Mobile/browser ability

Cons:
Slow on mobile
No offline capability
Cost?

Comment:
With the announcement of Googles Reader closing many people are saying Feedly is the next best thing. And, it pretty much is with a desktop version. The only thing that worries me is the unknown price they might will start charging for the service. The biggest issue for travel however is that that mobile app is does no work offline. So it's a no go for me based on this alone.

Download Feedly for Android here (free)


NewsRob: A contender to the throne? One of Androids most popular RSS readers

Pros:
Very easy to set up
Exceptionally nice GUI
Set a time to update feeds
Very fast
Syncs well with Google reader*

Cons:
First sync only captures latest posts, so you cannot read older ones
Doesn't mark feeds read well at all

Comment:
At first sight this app looks to be the best. But the initial GUI is let down by a poor response to read feeds not being marked read! Also the fact it only seems to show unread feeds mean you cannot read older posts from the day you install it. If the developer can work on this, it's a really great reader.

Download NewsRob for Android here (free)

 


FastReader: How fast is fast? And, is it really any good?

Pros:
Easy icons to glance at feeds
Multiple options available

Cons:
Slow!
Bad GUI with not folder listings
Bandwidth hog

Comment:
With a name like FastReader I was expecting something good. I got another generic looking reader that was actually quite slow.

Download FastReader for Android here (free)

 


Daily Reader: A new contender to the throne

Pros:
Easy to set up
Clean look
The whole feed shows through as it does online
Nice GUI

Cons:
No categories or folders makes it hard to navigate

Comment:
This app falls under the generic term again. Looks very nice with lots of points for how a single feed is displayed. But the inability to display folders or have feeds grouped into categories makes it a nightmare to use.

Download Daily Reader for Android here (free)

 


 

 

Aggregator: Meant to have lots of options but ....

Pros:
Import of opml feeds was fast

Cons:
No Google reader sync, only via opml import
No folder view
Does not update old feed items
Rarely updated

Comment:
Another case of all talk and not action. Looks to be promising but lets down with no sync or group by folder options.

Download the Aggregator here


Pulse: Great eye candy but does it work well?

Pros:
Looks fantastic
Easy to navigate

Cons:
Major bandwidth hog!
Slow to update
No sync to Google reader option
Doesn't save images well
Eats memory
Limited number of feeds allowed

Comment:
I had high hopes for this app, until I noticed how much bandwidth it was consuming. Even on WiFi with only 40 feeds I was up to 50MB on updating feeds! Limited amount of feeds allowed too. With no sync options. Only for those that like shiny things on permanent internet connections..

Download the Pulse here


RSS app recommendations:


RSS feeds keep me updated on news, my favorite blogs, and about what's going on around in the world.

I'm constantly on the move and want something that's reliable and will work in tough WiFi / mobile situations.

The apps that stand out for me are Greader, FeedR and Taptu. The first two are great for mass personal feeds and storage.

Taptu comes into its own as being the best RSS app for getting a global stream of interesting feeds delivered to you with ease, good looks and low bandwidth.

The biggest issue in 2013 is the closure of Google Reader. However FeedR does work with OPML imports and exports so it's still working just fine.


What's your favorite RSS app?

 


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