The Search for an Android News Reader

Seriously you’d think this would be easy. FeedingIt on the N900 wasn’t amazing but it did the job and was totally free. I don’t think my requirements are unreasonable here:

  • RSS support – not just via Google Reader
  • Ethical developer – i.e. supports the app and doesn’t demand excessive permissions for advertising purposes
  • White text on black background (for better battery life on AMOLED)
  • A decent user interface (NewsRob is great)
  • Offline cache, configurable sync schedule – I don’t want it to update constantly during the day and chew my battery, just download articles twice daily before I jump on the tube.
  • A reasonable price (yes I am prepared to pay)

Seriously if anyone can find one that fits these criteria please enlighten me, because I sure can’t. The ones I’ve considered so far:

  • NewsRob
    • The current frontrunner. Ad-supported and paid versions, user interface is nice and clean. I’m currently using the ad-supported version (gasp), until I find another. The problems? No black background (discovered the pro version actually does have a night theme), sync is partially configurable but can’t set specific times, based on Google Reader.
  • Feedr
    • Looked perfect and was apparently one of the better ones, but is no longer updated. Rumour has it that the developer is also behind RssDemon…
  • RssDemon
    • From what I can gather from the reviews on the marketplace, the developer of this app prefers to release a new app so everyone has to buy it again rather than improve the original. The app demands location permissions which is totally unnecessary for a news reader, and according to one reviewer purchasing the elite license does not properly remove the ad components. Strike.
  • BlueRSS GR
    • Developer seemed to have a good thing going with BlueRSS then inexplicably threw all that away by removing the old version and starting again with a new “GR” version that is not getting good reviews. There is no option for a black interface, but I didn’t like it anyway – 3D icons very 1998. Absolutely zero reasons to use this over NewsRob.
  • eSobi
    • Poor reviews, expensive (free is only trial), bloated, too many permissions. Again, zero reasons to use this over NewsRob.

Yes I’m picky but this seriously should not be that hard. News reading on Android – fail.

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