Perfect RSS Reader—a Google Reader client for iPad from Connect Technology—doesn’t quite live up to its name: It’s not perfect. But it is quite good.
It’s strongly reminiscent of Reeder for iPad. Like that popular app, Perfect RSS Reader gives you a nice overview of unread blog posts in a “spine” along the left side of your window; the specific blog post you want to read is featured in a larger space taking the right two-thirds of the screen.
From there, though, differences become apparent. Swipe left, and the blog post fills your entire screen for distraction-free reading. Swipe right, and the spine reappears. And if Perfect RSS Reader’s default settings aren’t easy on your eyes, you can change both the fonts and the background colors—a “dark” mode background is included. You can also tap on the headline to see a post in its original web format. (A free version of the app also includes banner advertisements along the bottom of the screen.)
Perfect RSS Reader has several other nifty features: You can add new feeds within the app, for example. And you can choose to view a page that contains just thumbnail versions of the photos that appear in your feed.
But Perfect RSS Reader falls short in several ways. In Reeder, it’s easy enough to click over and see just the folders of your bundled RSS feeds, represented as cards on the screen. Seeing your folders can take a couple of steps in Perfect RSS Reader, and new users might stumble through the un
labled trial-and-error navigation for awhile before they figure out how to do so.
One other oddity: The app has a “Notes” feature that sounds useful—it would be useful to jot down thoughts on blog posts—but appears to be a relic from when Google let users share items more widely. When I tested the app, the feature didn’t work.
Those are minor complaints. Perfect RSS Reader is mostly easy to use and certainly nice to look at. With a few tweaks, it might even deserve its name.
[Joel Mathis is a writer in Philadelphia.]