Sunday, May 09, 2010

User Review: Early Edition and Instapaper: iPad App winners!

Two Apps for the iPad that I have found to be instant wins are the Early Edition RSS reader from Glasshouse Apps.   This newsreader has a beautiful user interface taking your favorite RSS feeds and organizing them into a slick looking newspaper for you to page through.    This type of application is exactly what the iPad was designed for as a reading device and ultimately can replace your morning paper if you have not already done it.  

Once you find an article you like you can easily drill down and view the original article or you can choose to save it later for reading with another great application called Instapaper for reading later.  Once you are on the article you simply choose to forward it to Instapaper.

Browsing is easy with in Early Edition by selecting the feeds button you can choose to set up your newspaper with all feeds or a specific feed you want to browse. 

I would say the only awkward part of the Early Edition is how you setup your RSS feeds.  You have to either enter them manually or cut and past them for the source links.   I exported my newsreaders from the FLOCK browser to a text file and then was able to cut and paste the RSS html code to the setup in Early Edition.    In the end the user interface for Early Edition is worth Five Stars and worth the $4.99 for the application.

Now for Instapaper.   The Instapaper Pro App also $4.99 provides some added utility for news reading.  The idea is that if you do not have time to immediately read from Early Edition you can send your articles to read later on Instapaper.   The Instapaper App turns out to be more of a book reader, you can archive articles to folders and read them at your leisure.  The interface is not pretty but it does have some good features including reverse text on a dark screen which I find easing on the eyes.  (This is a feature the iBooks App lacks but Amazon's Kindle App has.   It is the primary reason to favor the Kindle App over the default Apple iBook app.)

The combination of Early Edition and Instapaper Apps on Apples new iPad makes this a powerful internet newsreader that has the potential of replacing your daily newspaper forever.   I recommend both applications.  Incidentally Instapaper also has a "READ LATER" bookmark for your Safari browser that allows you to send any web page to Instpaper for reading later.   The only limitation I have heard is that there is a limit to the number of articles Instapaper will hold for you.  I think it is about 250.   

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