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Tuesday
May032011

Reading Google Reader Posts on the iPad

I'm a huge fan of Google Reader - I subscribe to hundreds of RSS feeds, which I read every do to keep up with current events, legal and other technology, and other topics of interest.  I described how I use Google Reader as part of my research workflow a couple of weeks ago, so I won't go through it here.  Instead, I want to talk about using Google Reader on the iPad.

When I use my desktop, I typically have Google Reader open - it's easy to move from post to post, saving posts to certain tags or folders, and searching for information I previously saved.  But on the iPad, Google Reader is not such a great experience.  It just doesn't look as good or work as well as it does on the desktop.  Fortunately, there are a few great apps that will sync with your Google Reader account and make reading RSS feeds a true joy.  Here are two of my favorites.

Until this past weekend, I thought that Reeder ($4.99, app store) was hands down the best RSS reader app for the iPad.  I've found something else that I'm using now (for reasons I'll discuss below), but I still think Reeder is tops. Just log in with your Google Reader account, and all of your posts are automatically downloaded.  You can scroll through the individual posts in a column on the left, or page through each post one at a time.  You can read each feed separately, or in chronological order, to get that "river of news" feeling. Where Reeder really shines, though, is in its sharing abilities.  With just a tap you can Share your post with others, and with just a swipe of the finger you can automatically save the post to your Instapaper account.  You can also forward the post to a ton of places:  Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Pinboard, Zootool, ReadItLater, or just to an email you can send to anyone.

The one thing that Reeder couldn't do that I really wanted was the ability to tag posts.  I use tags a lot in Google Reader, and the Reeder app simply didn't have that feature.  That's why I was so glad to see another app, Mr. Reader ($2.99, app store), get a huge update in the app store this past week. Mr. Reader does most everything that Reeder does - and to boot, it looks like the familiar Google Reader interface.  Best of all, I can tag away to my heart's content.  I actually think I'm reading faster in Mr. Reader - I seem to make my way through hundreds of posts much more quickly than in Reeder or Google Reader itself.

If you use Google Reader and you're an iPad user, you owe it to yourself to check out these apps - they are both great, so you won't go wrong with either one.