January 25, 2011

Feedly for iPhone Hits the iTunes Store for Mobile RSS

Since launching more than two and a half years ago with a new magazine-like start page built with a foundation of RSS, Feedly has grown a committed user base who has enjoyed the service's unique take on Google Reader and other feeds, including Twitter. After nearly 18 months of development, Feedly can finally be downloaded from the iTunes store, available for iPhone and iPod Touch, for $2.99, while development for Android continues.

Feedly's strengths on the Web have primarily been in the clean UI and simplified navigation of often-busy RSS streams, including easy hierarchies developed through your own Google Reader folders, and tight integration with more advanced Reader functionality, including shares (seen as likes within Feedly) and comments, which flow bidirectionally between the two services. On the iPhone, the approach is quite similar, though modified for a smaller handheld device. (I used the iPad at 2x zoom to use it and make the below screenshots)

Featured Subscriptions and the Feedly Start Menu

The app, modifying its horizontally-oriented appearance for the desktop to a more start menu-like vertical bar on the iPhone, highlights your digest (all articles), latest (newest articles), must reads (featured sources), popular items from the community and your own saved items.

Top Stories on Feedly and Archived Stories

The most recent story from each section is displayed on its own, while archived stories are displayed four to a page, with thumbnails, date of publishing, and how many times they were shared across the Feedly network. (From what I can see, double digit shares are exceptional)

Want to mark all items as read in Feedly on iPhone? Click the checkbox. Want to share a single article? You can tweet it, e-mail it, copy the article link, open it in Safari, or mysteriously "mobilize", which in theory takes non-optimized stories and makes them look good for the handset. Clicking the "thumbs up" sign likes an article on the mobile device, just as it does on Feedly's site.

Feedly founder Edwin Khodabakchian has been developing in public, with a release candidate for iPhone being displayed as long ago as October and the yet to debut Android equivalent shown in November. The service's fans no doubt will still be eager to get Feedly on the go for iOS (and eventually Android), and the $2.99 sticker shouldn't be much of a deterrent.

Liking an Item in Feedly on iOS and Other Options

Despite some other places arguing that RSS is dead, it's obviously not the case - not with innovation from companies like Feedly, Flipboard, Newsblur, Pulse, and yes, my6sense, thinking of new ways to take on RSS feeds and social streams. As an information consumer, I enjoy seeing new approaches and ideas on how to manage the information flow and I appreciate Edwin and his team's steadfast focus on delivering a high quality product, rather than trying to push something out the door quickly.

You can find Feedly on the iTunes store here: Feedly on iTunes.

Disclosures: I am VP of Marketing at my6sense, which could be considered either a competitor or a potential partner to Feedly, Flipboard, Newsblur, Pulse or Google Reader, due to both similarity and complementary features with our API and mobile applications on iOS and Android.