News for iPhone, iPad review - RSS feed reader delivers news, entertainment, and more
News from developers Savy Soda is an RSS reader for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, which potentially offers thousands of news sources from just one app. RSS feeds are listed in categories on a bookshelf or magazine rack, close to iBooks and Newsstand, prior to Apple's iOS 7 makeover. Those categories include News, Social, Design, Entertainment, Life, Auto, Fashion, Finance, Sports and Technology. The Technology section, for example, includes around 40 websites to tick and select, including a few dedicated Apple sites.
It's a decent enough starting point but by no means exhaustive, missing a few choice names, including the well regarded US version of Macworld. A further category called Syndication adds news from Google, Bing, Yahoo! and World News, selected by region, interest and language. Lastly, a Custom Feed option allows users to enter a URL, rather an RSS feed link, which you need to find on the website.
News will allow you to visit any website within the app to find the RSS feed, but it’s not ideal and feels rather clunky. That said, over time you can build a solid selection of feeds that match your interests perfectly, all without having to sign up to any pre-existing RSS service, or log-in via social media. Stories of interest can be shared by both Twitter and Facebook, while a third option offers the chance to highlight stories via email.
The clunkiness adding RSS feeds extends to the user interface, which is busy almost to the point of distraction. It doesn't help that the majority of stories require you to select the original website for further reading, which while linked still within the app, isn't always mobile friendly. Additionally, when selecting feeds, "error processing" occasionally appears noting: "This feed may have been removed by the provider. Do you want to remove the feed?" It's not clear if this issue is resolved once an RSS feed is updated, or indeed added automatically to your list of news sources.
News isn't the most attractive mobile RSS feed reader, nor the most extensive out the box, but the ability to select, customise and add new news sources is a big plus. The result is an app tailored to your interests, free of seemingly superfluous content.