Snap Judgments

Every reader should know this already, but in case you don’t: I can be wrong and often am wrong. Whenever you put an opinion out there on the web, or state something as fact — you run the risk of someone smarter than you reading it. Often they correct you and you try to correct things where you can.

Personally, both on this blog and in real life, I try to correct myself immediately upon learning that I am wrong. It’s a mark of a strong man to be able to admit when they are wrong, or to acknowledge an excellent competing argument.

I think I may have been wrong about Mr. Reader — an RSS client for the iPad that I wrote a short quip about in my weekly Quick Takes series. I basically said the app sucks and made a very inaccurate statement about scrolling through news items. I apologize for that.

What I meant to say (though I did very unclearly) is that you can’t thumb through a full view of the RSS item using arrow keys like you can in Reeder. Yet, that is not the case at all — via DM on Twitter Justin Blanton pointed out to me that not only can you do that — you can also change the position of that bar.

While I still don’t care for the app, my original assessment of: “I think it sucks.” Is dead wrong.

I think it is crashy as all hell and not ready to be a primary news reader for most all users — that can be fixed with a quick update and we are comparing it to apps that have been around for quite some time. 1

My main problem with Mr. Reader remains that it just doesn’t feel and look as good as the rest of the iOS interface. 2 That leads to a disconnect, which in turn leads to a degraded user experience. Fortunately these are all things that can be changed with an updated theme, as my major usability problems all seem to be unfounded (aside from crashing).

The coloring isn’t the only problem that I see — there is too much clutter going one, and too much UI chrome. This app needs a toning down before it is an app for me, I do think there are a good chunk of users that will enjoy it, especially after the crashes get fixed.

To those of you that like Mr. Reader, those that considered not buying on my original advice, and especially to the developer — I am sorry.

  1. Meaning they have had time to work out these kinks, I remember Reeder being crashy at one point.
  2. Though the ‘New York’ theme is best.
Originally posted for members on: April 5, 2011
Follow along on RSS, App.net, or Twitter.
~I would appreciate it if you considered becoming a member.~