RSS has been going through a bit of an identity crisis since Google Reader was dropped by Google just over 6 months ago.
For some people they have carried on using RSS just the same, others have jumped over to using smart social collection tools like flipboard or even the brand new facebook paper app.
Others still have just started using service like twitter as a replacement where they only follow sites.
In every way, googles decision to pull the plug has sparked innovation in news collection and reading with some claiming that the feed is dead. It’s seen companies like Feedly and Feed Wrangler take very different approaches. But in general reading apps have stayed fairly stagent simply offering slight Ui changes and support for other reader services.
However unread is a bit different.
What is Unread?
Unread is a new RSS reader app from Jared Sinclair which aims to take a departure from the majority of RSS readers and provide the most pleasurable, distraction free experience where you sit down and take in different articles. Much like papers of old (interesting for a release during the same week as Facebook Paper). It doesn’t focus on features of some apps but on simplicity and creating a great experience.
My favorite quote from Jared about the apps Philosophy is
I made Unread because I wanted to get back to a more deliberate style of reading. I designed it for times of quiet focus. With warm typography and a sparse interface, it invites me to return to the way I used to read before I fell into the bad habit of skimming and forgetting…
Let Unread be an opportunity to break away from your old reading habits. Let Twitter or App.net be the place for loud, busy feeds. Let RSS be the place where great independent writing thrives. Choose your favorite writers and read them closely….
The only question is does it hold up?
What I like
The typography is stunning. For an app that is aiming to give you a pleasurable reading experience paying attention to this detail and using a specialized font (Whitney since you’re asking) rather than the default in built fonts.
The interface is bare and minimal. All the controls are moved out of the way to help you focus on reading the articles you’ve downloaded. The simple controls of swiping left and right will bring up your article list and controls to change the theme, refresh, mark all as read or change the grouping (when in the main feed) or Mark a single article read, star it, view on the web, share or change the theme. Swiping left takes you backwards.
It also makes use of background app refresh for iOS 7
What I don’t like
The only feature of note missing is pull to refresh or a simpler way to move onto the next article. Although the developer has stated that he is going to introduce this feature in the future.
I’m also excited to see if an iPad version will come in the future as it is great to have the alternative options for how to track your news feed. However, I suspect a slightly different approach might be taken than the iPhone version as
Honestly I love this reader app. I had been using reeder 2 for a long time but the design and interface of unread are so brilliantly executed that it makes reading a pure joy. If you have stopped using RSS since Google reader went a way but have thought about returning then I hope unread will be the push you need.
Download unread here