Newsify [App o’ the Mornin’]

RSS feeds are essential to my work. It’s the only way to track hundreds (sometimes thousands) of headlines as I try to keep abreast of several major subject areas: games, technology, religion, archaeology, and science. Dozens of RSS readers, both PC and mobile, have passed through my life in the last decade or so. Sometimes we’d see each other for a while. There were good times, laughter, the thrill of new love. But they always ended in tears and heartbreak, and a “It’s not me, it’s you” speech.

After using MobileRSS, Feedler, Pulse, and Flipboard, I settled on Newsify (free: iOS). It handles the newspaper-style layout far better than the over-hyped Flipboard, but still manages to integrate a sidebar that allows rapid switching between groups and feeds. This is it, folks: a find as important as plutonium and s’mores … combined! The last mobile news reader you’ll ever need. At least until the developer breaks it with a new “upgrade.”

Newsify works because it’s both simple and powerful. You can syn with either Feedly or via cloud, and the instantly populates the reader with folders and feeds. The app works well on a Touch or iPhone, but it really shines on an iPad. Navigation among folders and feeds is a snap with the slide-away sidebar. It’s easy to choose all folders, individual folders, individual feeds, starred items, or unread content.

Newsify loads all the items faster than any similar app I’ve used. The headlines and summaries are laid out in either an unending scroll, or newspaper style format. Full text loads super-fast in a window. It’s easy to push stories off to Facebook, Twitter, Pocket, or any number of other services. I find it works perfectly to glances over headlines, identify the stories of interest, and then send them off to Pocket for later reading.

It’s very attractive and readable, with the ability to modify fonts and colors, but without the fussy graphical flourishes that tend to slow down apps. Items can be marked as read as you scroll by them, or in batches, or not at all. It works exactly the way I want it to work: fast, simple, powerful.