RSS! Incredibly useful but mostly ugly. Or super pretty but hard to read. With Feedly for Android, you get a great looking and easy to read feed reader. Works for your Android phone and Honeycomb tablet too.
What is it?
Feedly, Free, Android. Feedly, at its core, is an app for Google Reader. It takes your RSS feeds and splashes them out in a pseudo-magazine, almost Windows Phone 7-style, swipey slide layout. Which is a convoluted way to say, Feedly is a good looking app!
When you open one of your feeds (let's say for Gizmodo), you'll see the latest article on the first page with a big picture and a little blurb. If you find it interesting (which of course you do!) you'll tap the headline and the full article will pop out on the screen. If you want to continue scanning headlines, just swipe the screen and Feedly will show the next slide of 4 articles (headline and main art for each). Swipe again for more articles, swipe after the last Gizmodo article for your next feed. Basically, Feedly makes it insanely easy to scan your websites in a very natural motion. Because it limits how many articles are displayed on each slide, and transitions to the next slide in a paginated motion, I was zipping through my feeds much faster than combing through a list on Google Reader. It's like quickly thumbing through a magazine as opposed to staring at a table of contents. Very engaging.
Feedly is still in beta, but I didn't notice any slip-ups at all.
Who's it good for?
Good for people who like to scan headlines as opposed to reading every word in every article. Really great for people who don't have too many websites loaded up in Google Reader. Perfect for the casual RSS reader (if such a person exists) who hates staring at lists.
Why's it better than alternatives?
The beautify-RSS-feeds-in-an-app space is growing increasingly crowded with the likes of Feedsquare and Pulse but I like the promise that Feedly is showing. With Feedly, there wasn't a tradeoff between elegance and efficiency. For those other good lookin' RSS apps, the app design is impressive but I always fell back to something bare bones like the Google Reader app to get my real reading done. Feedly seems to strike the perfect balance between being able to read everything quickly without wanting to tear my eyeballs out.
How could it be even better?
I wish I could collapse all my feeds into folders. I wish I could swipe the screen and go to the next article in article view instead of pressing Next. I wish I could give a priority level to each of my feeds (some are better suited for mobile, others I'd rather read on a bigger screeen). I wish it was on more than Android 2.2+.
Feedly, Android [Android Market]