That’s right folks, the App of the Week is back. After taking a break before “Season 2”, I will be bringing back a new app every week for you guys to up your productivity, just have fun, or however you use the app or game chosen. This week’s app of the week is a Google Reader client for Honeycomb called Reader HD. Now before I send you non-Honeycomb users running, this app does have an Android phone counterpart called Droid Reader, but this review will be specifically focusing on Reader HD.
Now obviously, one of the main things a tablet is good for is the large (or somewhat large) screen. This makes it especially good for reading, and I don’t mean just reading things like books and magazines, but also good for RSS/Google Reader. In fact, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the ideal device for reading and checking my Google Reader. Of course, with this being one of the main things I use the device for, I needed a good Google Reader client. Pulse is good, but it doesn’t really sync too well with a Google Reader account when it comes to things like unread article counts, and I was looking for an all around reader, not just one that specializes in a certain area. Not to say those aren’t good to have around, but I was looking for the complete experience on my tablet–functionality and pleasing visual aesthetics. After trying out most–if not all of the news readers, I found Reader HD to be the clear choice for my reader of choice. Now, this is preference, and the app isn’t perfect, but it sure is pretty close.
More after the break
Reader HD is one of the best Google Reader clients I’ve found on any device. Once you get the theme right (my favorite is definitely gray), it can also be one of the most beautiful. First I will touch on Reader HD’s UI. It’s fantastic. Everything is there from animations, to optional themes. The application is set up in the two-tabbed format similar to the Gmail app on Honeycomb. On the left you can choose between your different feeds, and on the right you can see the titles and descriptions of the articles in that category. Unread and read articles are synced to the reader by default(it can be changed), and the unread articles are marked with a small blue dot to the left of the title. When you click an article, the application slides to the towards the left of the screen, and the tab with titles and descriptions replaces the sources tab with the article chosen to the right of that. The article shows to the right in its full-featured glory, including pictures and all text with an option to view in-browser. This all looks fantastic, and provides a reading experience conducive to comfortability and productivity.
Reader HD doesn’t lack in the functionality side of the app either, with almost all the options a user could want in a Google Reader client. The app provides 2-way sync, which means reading an article in the app or anywhere else will cause it to become unread in both places. Also included is a notification system, offering updates at different intervals, keeping your unread count ticking upwards as your day goes on. When reading an article, a slightly transparent bar of notable features appears at the top giving a user control over what they would like to do next. These features include things like starring an article, liking and un-liking, keeping the article unread, editing tags, sharing the article (which integrates with everything that can share things on the device such as Facebook, Twitter, etc), changing to a mobile format, and viewing the article in-browser. With all of these features included, and the different settings available, this app will basically accomplish anything you need it to when it comes to Google Reader.
Reader HD is a full-fledged Google Reader application, that is pleasing to the eye and very equipped when it comes to features. It works with minimal errors, and the animations are smooth and pretty. Keeping up to date is also simple with 2-way sync, and just about any other features you want are on board as well. Reader HD is a fantastic reader, and that is why I have chosen it as this week’s App of the Week. It is available in the Market for $2.01 and is definitely worth a purchase. Don’t forget to check back every week for an App of the Week, and stay tuned to TheDroidGuy for all the latest news and updates.
about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 16 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid and his since upgraded to the HTC Thunderbolt. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ElijahIsMe & @thedroidboy