Developer: StreamGlider, Inc.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.2.50
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s hard to sort through all of the various iPad news readers in the App Store. Many are simply RSS readers with poor-looking interfaces. StreamGlider+, now free, is a news reader that has quite a few interface options but doesn’t quite compare to other free news readers.

Overall, StreamGlider+ is an acceptable news reader that works similarly to its competitors. The user has pages to fill with lists. Each of those lists can have various feeds (using Google Reader, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and more). And, like its competitors, it has its own curated feeds to add from sponsored sites. The problem is that StreamGlider+ comes with some confusing buttons, an unattractive magazine and slideshow mode, and just some minor oversights.

The Facebook stream made a feed for every single photo album of mine automatically. The Facebook News Feed is the only feed from Facebook I actually wanted. It most likely is the only feed from Facebook anyone would want in a news-style reader.

Moving lists from one page to another is impossible. The list must be manually recreated on the new page. This can get annoying if the user wants to move something like a “Tech” list with multiple feeds to another page.

The magazine view looks a bit like Zite and Flipboard but not nearly as aesthetically pleasing. The view doesn’t seem to take pictures from articles and the formatting of the text isn’t uniform.

All of the lists shift their articles to the right every few seconds to give users a few of all available articles. This caused problems on multiple occasions because attempts to tap an article resulted in opening the next article.

The button that almost universally means “Share” (box with an arrow), is actually the button for fullscreen mode. The share button is the 3-pointed right angle. This is going to be confusing the first time for almost every user.

There are some other features that are just standard in news apps that StreamGlider+ fails to include. It needs the ability to zoom in and out (and double tap to zoom to text) in the partial viewing screen (with the interface at the top). Zooming only works in fullscreen mode. It also needs a “Reader” function like Zite and Safari for people that want a cleaner reading experience.

While StreamGlider+ isn’t perfect, it’s an acceptable choice when choosing between the available free news readers. Its multiple view choices makes it a versatile app that can please most users.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad News, Reviews

Tagged with: , , ,