Reeder 2 is live!

Reeder 2 app for iPhone and iPad

Today is a good day. Reeder, my favourite RSS reader has been updated and is now available in the App Store as a brand new app called, appropriatly, Reeder 2. This time around, it's a universal app that looks beautiful in both the iPhone and the iPad.

Back in June when Google shut down Google Reader, I wrote about my temporary RSS setup and lamented that I had to stop using Reeder. Fortunately, a few weeks after that, sync with Text Wrangler as added to Reeder for iPhone and I switched back.

After almost 2 months, I missed the IFTTT integration that I had with Google Reader and switched to Feedly as the RSS sync service, and continued to use Reeder for iPhone (I actually had both Feedly and Feed Wrangler syncing with Reeder).

But I still missed Reeder for iPad.

I never deleted the app from my iPad and actually stopped reading RSS on the iPad altogether. That's how much I liked Reeder. All my RSS reading since has been on the iPhone using Reeder for iPhone.

Today, thanks to Reeder 2, I'm happily back to having one of my favourite apps on both devices again.

And before you start whinging that it's a new app and not a free update to a $4 (or whatever it cost) app you bought 2 years ago, stop. Don't be a dick and pay for good software. Especially if you use it every day. I've already heard a few complaints and read a few people moaining in Twitter.

I purchased Reeder for iPad in October 2010 and Reeder for iPhone before that (I can't find the receipt for that one). I'm pretty sure I paid less than $10 for both back then. I think I've gotten pretty good value out of my 10 bucks over the last 3 years.

I can't believe I'm trying to rationalise this for the whingers.

Anyway, Reeder 2 is out and that makes me happy. Federico Viticci at Macstories has a great review up already. Go check Reeder 2 out now and support the developers that build the software you love.

Update on my RSS setup after 2 months

photo credit:  Wiertz Sébastien

photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien

After Google Reader was discontinued, I wrote an article describing what my RSS setup was detailing the services and apps I had chosen to replace it.

In summary, what I did was use Feed Wrangler as the sync service and their own apps for iPhone and iPad to read my feeds. As soon as Reeder for iPhone added support, I switched back and all was good. Except for one little problem that I mentioned in the article. With Google Reader, I had an IFTTT recipe that sent me an email with every starred item. Turns out, I really, really missed having that.

I tried a few workarounds using Feed Wrangler, but nothing worked as well as my previous set up.

In a moment of frustration, I went searching IFTTT to see what I could use and found that Feedly has really good integration with IFTTT and is also supported by Reeder for iPhone. I recreated my old recipe, imported my feed list, logged in with Reeder, and found it all worked smoothly.

I now have pretty much my old setup back. I still need Reeder for iPad and Mac to add support for Feedly.

Still, I don't have much faith in the long term viability of this setup given that Feedly is free. At some point they'll need to start making money somehow and I have a feeling it'll most likely be by either pushing advertising to me or selling my data. Think about it. Imagine the kind of intel they have about us just by tracking our RSS behaviour. Between what we subscribe to, what we actually read, what we share, and what we mark as favourite, they have a pretty detailed idea about us. Neither of these ways of monetising sound good to me.

That is precisely why I went with Feed Wrangler in the first place. And I still think it's the best service. If only Feed Wrangler worked with IFTTT (yes, I get the irony that IFTTT is free as well). That would be awesome. I'd switch back in a second.

My RSS reading setup after the death of Google Reader

Tomorrow, Google Reader will be shut down. When the announcement was made back in March, I mentioned I couldn't think of a good alternative. Since then, several developers have stepped up to the challenge and today we have a handful of options. Unfortunately, I still haven't found the ideal replacement.

My RSS reading setup up, until yesterday, consisted of the following:

  • Sync via Google Reader (I never used the website).
  • Reeder for iPhone, iPad, and Mac to read shorter articles and/or send elsewhere.
  • Longer articles got sent to Instapaper.
  • Articles I wanted to "action" got starred and an ifttt recipe emailed them to me. Then a mail rule in iCloud dropped them into an Action folder so they never appeared in my Inbox. These were articles I wanted to blog about or research further, for example.

It was perfect. In fact, it was so good that I didn't even think about it. It was just part of my every day.

Sadly, I haven't found a setup that works as well for me. Either it's a free service (I don't like free services), or the apps are ugly, or it's too much work to set up, or it doesn't have an ifttt channel.

I'm sure in a few months we'll have much better RSS reading options, but for now they all seem to be almost there, but not quite there yet.

After a lot of research and trials of several services, I've settled with the following RSS reading setup:

  • Sync via Feed Wrangler. It's the closest to my ideal. It's $19 a year (so has a real business model), offers a 3rd party API for developers to integrate their apps, and the smart streams feature is innovative.
  • For apps I'm using the Feed Wrangler ones for now. They're not even close to Reeder and there's no Mac version, but they'll have to do for now. I do like the Instapaper button though, only one tap and done.

Reeder is adding Feed Wrangler support to Reeder for iPhone, albeit without smart streams. As soon as it's available I'll give it a go and will likely switch back. Reeder for iPad and Mac will get it too, but it seems it won't be any time soon. Not perfect, but getting there.

What I'm still missing is a way to quickly flag articles I want to action. ifttt doesn't work with Feed Wrangler, so I'm not sure what to do with that one.

It's still a work in progress. In an ideal world, Reeder will add full support for Feed Wrangler to all their apps and Feed Wrangler becomes a channel in ifttt. With the smart streams this will be even better than before. Hopefully it won't be long.

Subscribing to Disturbances in the Wash

The death of Google Reader is regrettable and I haven't yet decided on how I'll replace it. But more importantly, it got me worried about 2 things:

  1. Many of you have subscribed to the site via RSS and most are using Google Reader.
  2. My RSS feed is managed through Feedburner, another Google service which might be discontinued at any moment.

I'm worried about what would happen if Google ever kills Feedburner, so I'm moving my RSS feed over to the one built into Squarespace, the platform where this site is hosted. It doesn't have any features and as of version 6, it doesn't even show the subscriber count (hopefully they'll bring it back soon). But at least it's not dependent on a third company.

 

Please re-subscribe to the site using this feed URL:

http://disturbancesinthewash.net/feed

I realise this is a big ask, but it's for the best in the long run. I hope you'll stick around.

I'll post a few reminders in the coming weeks. The old RSS feed should continue to work while Feedburner is around, but I can't guarantee it.

 

Google shutting down Google Reader (and other bits) ➦

Google just announced they're shutting down Google Reader, the RSS service that so many of us use. I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm surely not happy about it. I still use RSS more than anything else to get my news via the excellent Reeder for iPhone and Reeder for iPad.

Maybe in the long run this will be a good thing. Silvio Rizzi (developer of Reeder) is probably (hopefully) thinking about an alternative, as well as most developers of RSS apps. This will foster innovation. I expect great things to come.

Unfortunately, right now I can't think of a good alternative.