Recently I posted that I cleaned up my NetNewsWire feed on my Mac. I had subscribed to way to many blogs that I wasn’t reading, and half of them were not being kept up by bloggers anymore. My buddy Blaze McRob joined the discussion and it got me to thinking. Why not move my blog reading experience to my phone and Nook.
I went out to do a Google search for RSS readers for Android phones, my cell phone preference. I’m not surprised that most of the readers were related to Google Reader. Well, there’s a reason I use NetNewsWire. I hate the Google Reader and really don’t want to go back to maintaining it. Never the less, I checked out the various mobile Google Readers for phones and found that the only one available that I might consider, PressReader, is not compatible with my phone’s Android version. *SIGH* I happened to have lunch with a friend that day and she suggested Zite, also incompatible with my phone. **SIGH**
So I looked instead for reader apps for the Nook and found two: Pulse and Taptu. I then found out they are both available for Android phones including my Android version. YAY! I installed them both on both devices and was pretty happy with what I saw . . . at first.
What I love most is that both readers started me out with a whole bunch of news feeds based on a wide variety of categories. I then added and deleted a few feeds easily enough. I was happy to find that they sync up between my phone and Nook. And they both integrate with social media quite nicely. What I wasn’t sure about was which interface I prefer. So I spent some time playing around with both and comparing the two:
- Both segregate feeds into categories. Pulse has a main page with a menu that lists all your categories. You have to select a category to see the articles. Taptu opens to shelves of categories with the latest articles under each. You have to scroll up/down and left/right to see all the content. Personally I prefer the menu list of categories, so Pulse won this one. Besides that, managing and merging the categories on Taptu is frustrating, because new sources/feeds I added wouldn’t always merge into categories for various reasons. Managing categories is a bit frustrating on both. I’ll get over it as I better learn navigaton. I want more flexibility to manage and name my own categories though, like I have in NetNewsWire.
- Viewing feeds is completely different on both. This is where I had the hardest time deciding which viewer to choose. When you select a category on Pulse, it opens a page with rows for each individual news source that links to the latest articles. The pages are easily manipulated and you can order the news sources from top to bottom however you like, big plus. On Taptu, like I was saying about the categories, you scroll up and down and side to side through merged news sources on the main page. Articles are ordered according to publication date and viewing settings are limited. In my opinion, both need to evolve to allow toggling between each view type, because I can’t say I like one more than the other. I found that when I’m mobile and looking for quick reads, I go to Taptu. When I’m at home and leisurely reading, prefer to I browse Pulse.
- Reading an article is slightly different on each. Pulse displays most of an article’s content for you, and if it doesn’t, it has a built in browser to go to the source’s website. I like this! Taptu sends you to the device’s default web browser. Don’t like this. Also, some blog posts on Taptu have all the text merged into one giant paragraph. A bug I’ll have to report.
- Managing settings on Pulse is a bit less frustrating than on Taptu. Pulse is buggy on the Nook though. I quickly gave up and manage all the settings on my phone instead. Nice thing is changing settings on one device changes it on the other device. Although this can be a drawback as well.
So which one did I choose? I don’t know. I’m still not sure which I prefer to read blogs on, or if I’ll even read blogs on either reader. I’m off to check out a few of the Google Reader apps. Yes, you heard me right.