Turning inner space into outer space

July 2, 2022

Unread 3 makes it a pleasure to read your RSS feeds

For several years, RSS has been my main source of news. And for several years, Reeder has been my RSS app of choice.

But then I heard about Unread 3 and decided to give it a try. It is slick! I feel disloyal for saying this, but I'm pretty sure I'll never go back to Reeder.

What's so great about Unread? Let me tell you.

Most impressive is the interface. I find myself using it even when I'm not that interested in the latest news. I just love the way everything looks and feels.

The app makes extensive use of swiping left or right. This means the feeds take up all of the viewing area on an iPad. Each article has a nice big heading, a picture and a full-paragraph summary — it's never truncated.

And if you tap to read the full story, you automatically go into reader mode — a presentation of the article without the ads or cruft commonly found on websites.

It really does make reading enjoyable.

There is one drawback, though — no Mac version. I almost always opt for my iPad to read the news, but there is the odd occasion when I want to read it on my Mac.

This means syncing with Reeder for Mac is a bit of a problem, but it can be overcome. I've been using Unread's own cloud service for syncing, but of course this only works with Unread. To get around this, a person could instead opt for one of several third-party services such as Feedly.

I've used Feedly in the past and don't recall any issues with it, so it's something to keep in mind.

One thing that took some getting used to with Unread was long presses. For example, if you want to remove an account or open it in a new window, you need to long press the name of the account.

In a way this is a good thing because it takes advantage an interface action unique to iOS. So I consider myself educated.

There's no real disadvantage to downloading Unread and trying it out. It's mostly free. A subscription gets you widget customization, article actions, caching, custom app icons and premium support.

Article actions include sharing articles via email. I'm not sure why, but I'm able to do this with a long press despite not being a subscriber.

If you do subscribe, it's $20 a year. Reeder, on the other hand, has up front pricing without a subscription ($10 for Mac, $5 for iOS). They ask you to pay again for a major upgrade. In the past, I've happily done this because it's an app I use a lot and I want to support the developer. I may wind up subscribing to Unread for the same reason.