Fed up with NetNewsWire, I got Reeder over a month ago, and it’s made RSS feed reading on the iPhone a pleasure. It’s advantages over NNW are:

  1. Syncing always works. Like every RSS reader nowadays, Reeder syncs online with Google Reader. Items that I’ve read on my iPhone are never in the unread list when I go back to my computer, and vice versa. When I used NNW, syncing mistakes were a once a week occurrence.
  2. Speed. Reeder starts up *much* faster than NNW and is just as fast going from article to article. It’s possible that part of the speed difference is due to NNW’s ads (I have the free version), but I’m not interested in buying the no-ad version of NNW to check this.
  3. The controls work. The Next Item button in NNW is always enabled, even when there is no next item. The equivalent down arrow button in Reeder is disabled (grayed out) when you’re reading the last item.
  4. It makes the feed from Roger Ebert’s blog readable. I’ve mentioned before that Roger puts everything after the lead paragraph or two inside triple <blockquote> tags, which causes the text to run down the center of the screen in a barely-readable trickle only a dozen or so characters wide. Like this:

    That’s NNW, but other RSS readers do the same thing. Reeder must have some special “Ebert mode,” because it displays the text like this:

    which is the best I can hope for until someone tells Roger how to get indentation through CSS instead of 1990s-style tagging.

Reeder has the usual WebKit-based builtin browser for when you want to follow a link but don’t want to switch to Mobile Safari. It also has ties to Delicious, Instapaper, Twitter, and other services I don’t use and can’t remember. I don’t count these as Reeder advantages, because other feed reader apps do the same, but it’s good to know that Reeder isn’t behind in integration features.

Not everything about Reeder is perfect. The little buttons in the bottom toolbar are too little:

and I wish it would show me the count of remaining unread items in the top bar while I’m reading.

I was worried at first that the gray background would be too low in contrast for my middle-aged eyes, but that hasn’t been the case.

In short, the good things I heard about Reeder before I bought it were true. It’s turned out to be one of my best app purchases.