Mr. Reader – an iPad RSS Reader with Lots of Useful Features

This post is not directly related to ebooks but it’s about reading on mobile devices, and if you are an iPad user you may find it useful.

There are many RSS feed reading apps for iOS, designed exclusively to deliver content from Google Reader account. Most popular are Reeder, MobileRSS, NewsRack or Feedly.

There is one more application, which is less known but delivers much more than anything you’ve used so far. The app is called Mr. Reader (AppStore link) and I just want to write about it, as it deserves much more coverage than received so far.

Mr. Reader has lots of features other apps offer as well, so I’ll focus only on highlighting functionalities I haven’t met anywhere else.

Open article in a browser of your choice
Mr. Reader is a first app I know which gives the option to open an article not only in a Safari browser. In a Settings panel, under Service Menu Composition you can select Safari, Atomic Web, iCab Mobile and Mercury.

Mode switch bar
You can switch between 4 modes directly from a handy bar above the article (see picture 2-1). The modes are: RSS, Web, Mobilizer (by Instapaper) and Readability. RSS is no longer the default mode. If in a certain feed you select a Readability mode, the app will always open articles in that mode until you manually change it to another one.

Sort and group articles in a feed stream
When you open a single feed folder you can tap on an icon in the top right corner (see picture 1-1) to choose the sort option (newest or oldest first) and to display articles chronologically (this is what other feed readers do as well) – but also grouped by feeds.

Folder and feed management
If you want to rename the folder or feed you don’t have to open Google Reader on your computer any longer. You can do it within Mr. Reader the moment you want to do this. Tap and hold a folder and you’ll see a bar giving you the options to rename, delete or reorder the folder. Tap and hold a single feed to rename, reorder within a folder, move to another folder or delete.

A toolbox in a stream view
In a stream view you have access to a mini toolbox next to every article. Thanks to that you can quickly star the article, tag it or save for later without opening it. See picture 1-2.

Switch the position of the toolbar
Mr. Reader gives you the option to change the position of the toolbar. When you’re in the article mode, find a little icon (picture 2-2). Tap on it and the toolbar will switch. You can place it on the left, right or the bottom of the screen.

Dictionary lookup
This is what I always wanted to have in a news reading application – to quickly find the meaning of the word I don’t know. This feature may be very helpful for non-English users. Mr. Reader is opening an external app, Terminology, with the description of the word. What’s important is that in Terminology you have a link back to Mr. Reader so you don’t really mess with opening and closing apps.

Send to Kindle
Among many services the app can send content to (Instapaper, Read It Later, Readability) there is also the one which sends directly to Kindle – it’s Kindlebility, introduced in the last update of Mr. Reader.

Mr. Reader
Picture 1 - click to enlarge
Mr. Reader
Picture 2 - click to enlarge

One thing you may have in mind is not to actively use the app, while it’s syncing the content. Most Google Reader apps have problems with handling accounts which have too many items to sync. The best way it so start syncing and leave the app opened until it finishes.

I’d love Mr. Reader to introduce the iPhone version. If it will be designed with the same care for detail, it will be my favorite news reading app for iPhone as well. And it would be just fantastic if the app will add the option to share content from many Twitter accounts.

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