River of News is a $3.99 iPad App Gone to Waste

River of News is a news aggregator iPad App that synchronizes with Google Reader.

I bought this App due to some positive reviews. Now I can’t even seem to find where I once read that positive review.

Here are the features of the App, according to its website:

  • Infinite scrolling;
  • Swipe to change feeds;
  • Always in sync with Google Reader;
  • Share with Twitter, Facebook and more;
  • Mark as read while you scroll;
  • Optimized for readability;

Probably not so far ahead of the competition in terms of features, but they sound great nonetheless, especially the unique ‘infinite scrolling’ and ‘swipe to change feeds’ features. Until you start using it and notice its faults:

  • When you’re scrolling fast, you’ll experience hang time, i.e., the App is too slow to load the articles you’ll have to wait some time in order to finish what you’re reading;
  • Inaccurate total unread count;
  • Been waiting for updates to fix these issues for a while, but no, no updates!

Browse through the screenshots below for a graphical illustration of the flaws in the River of News iPad App:

So, can I suggest alternatives then?

Well, yes, you should try FeeddlerPro (hey, this is a universal app) and Reeder (I liked the GUI) instead. Though, I wish there’s a native app for Google Reader.

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Soybean April 6, 2011 Reply

“Mark read as you scroll” is the essential feature here IMO. It seems to be the only Google Reader app that actually behaves like Google Reader. Everyone else assumes I have some strange desire to individually swipe through hundreds of articles, like I’m so indiscriminate that I’ll read every single NY Times or Engadget article in my feed.

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