November 18, 2013 at 10:39 AM by Dr. Drang
I suppose it says something about my attitude toward Apple’s recent operating system updates that I didn’t even try out Reading List when it was introduced. In fact, I’m not even sure when it was added. But after hearing D. Sparks saying good things about it in passing on a recent Mac Power Users episode, I decided to give it a try. I’ve become a convert.
I’m not using it the way Apple intended, though. I was never a big user of “read it later” services like Instapaper, mainly because I set aside time specifically to read through my RSS feeds and Twitter stream, and when I do, I usually want to read their links now, not later. On the Mac, I have things set up so that clicks on links in ReadKit and Dr. Twoot open new Safari tabs in the background. So my current reading isn’t interrupted, but when I’m done, there are interesting pages open in the browser, waiting for me.
Reading List makes a similar way of reading possible in iOS. Opening Safari tabs in the background isn’t possible in iOS; you always jump into Safari to open the page and then have to return to your feed reader or Twitter client. Or you could use the built-in browser that most reader apps have, but that involves a similar jump away from what you’re reading (also, the built-in browsers aren’t as fast as Safari). Adding the links to Reading List avoids the disruption and leaves me with a nice list of interesting articles in Safari when I’ve caught up with RSS and Twitter.
But there’s a fly in the ointment. Although my favorite Twitter client, Tweetbot, includes Reading List in its Sharing pane, my (formerly favorite) RSS reader, Reeder, doesn’t—not in the original Reeder nor in Reeder 2. This isn’t the only reason I’ve become disillusioned with Reeder 2—it refuses to automatically mark the last article of a set as read—but it’s what’s caused me to go back to UDS’s Feed Wrangler client, a free app that’s a little clunkier in its interface than Reeder but which is smart enough to support a standard Apple feature.
I’ve done a little searching for a replacement RSS reader, but nothing stands out. Maybe I’ll just stick with Feed Wrangler until Reeder gets its act together.