Nate Barham’s Review of ‘Unread’

Yes, the same Nate Barham who actually reviewed Writer Pro while people were either hyping or complaining. Today he strikes again with an unbiased and balanced critique of a new RSS reader for iOS, named Unread:

Every few weeks, a well-known indie developer releases a new app. You’ve seen it. Twitter timelines fill with links to reviews or 140-character praises or the grinning confessions of beta testers. They mention each other, and you gape on, thumb hovering above the install button—just a password or fingerprint away from becoming one with the stream.

You’ll see I’ve labeled this post with “consider” rather than my usual, “recommended,” and that’s because I can’t wholeheartedly encourage a purchase just yet. Unread is a good app (maybe even a great one), but it’s not for everyone.

That last sentence is exactly what I thought after two days with the app. I don’t plan to review Unread anymore since Nate pretty much nailed the job. One thing I want to add is that the swipe-triggered animations in Unread were annoyingly slow too slow for my taste. At least when compared to Reeder.

Generally speaking, I’m becoming more and more conscious of software reviews and who’s word (not) to take in this regard. Nate puts it with diplomacy, but there’s a bit too much back-scratching going on in our little tech swamp.

Updated on February 27, 2014: I feel “annoyingly” is too harsh here, and realize that this is ultimately a matter of taste. Unread is an opinionated piece of software for sure, and while I appreciate that, it just isn’t not for me. To clarify my back-scratching comment: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with helping spread the word about a friend’s work, but I do believe that “professional” software reviewers should be aware of their influence on buyers. As written originally, this comment is unrelated to the quality of Unread itself, nor to the reviews about this specific app.

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