Gazette Vs Byline (Battle Of The Google Reader iPhone Apps)

Filed as Features on March 9, 2009 10:16 pm

gazetteicon

If one were to strip most of the eye candy away from Byline, they would probably end up with an app like Gazette.

Developed by Matt Rajca, Gazette offers users a distraction free layout that focuses on keeping things simple for the Google Reader addict.

Being relatively priced at $2, some users may wonder whether it would be better to invest their spare change in Gazette rather than spend the extra cash on Byline (which currently costs $5).

So instead of purchasing both apps (and making Steve Jobs richer) here is a brief review of how Gazette stacks up against Byline (with an excel spreadsheet link below comparing Gazette against not only Byline but the gReader web app and Doppler as well).

Where Gazette Excels

While both Gazette and Byline both display your feeds in the traditional folder format, Gazette goes one step further by allowing you to actually view all of the feeds from a particular blog/news site within the folder.

This is really helpful, especially if one wants to view a certain blog (like Engadget) within a certain folder, without having to sift through every blog or news site.

Gazette also sports a status bar which informs you how many feeds the app has synced (which is really helpful if you are subscribed to over 400 feeds!).

Another feature I enjoyed about Gazette was the ability to change the font size. While Byline’s font size is fairly decent (at least with me), users may prefer to enlarge or reduce the font (in order to make it easier reading ones feeds on the eyes).

Last but not least you can also mark a feed that you read within Gazette as unread (a feature I found strangly missing in Byline as even the gReader web app allows this).

Where Gazette Falters

While Gazette was able to match Byline when it came to features such as offline mode, staring and sharing feeds, it lacked two major feature (one of them being a deal breaker for me).

The first was the lack of landscape mode, a feature most gReader apps have (not to mention the gReader iPhone app as well). This feature is critical, especially when reading political cartoons (which are usually too small or too large to read in portrait mode).

Another feature missing was the ability to create notes within the app (which was a deal breaker for me).

Since my gReader account is hooked up to FriendFeed (which in turn is hooked up to Twitter which connects to my Facebook status), the inability to comment on stories directly within Gazette was “not very thrilling.”

Last but not least I (unfortunately) found Gazette to be slightly buggy.

While the app has more listed features than Byline, Gazette would (for some strange reason) list a few random feeds outside of their respective folders (which I found to be annoying).

Note: A more detailed comparison between Gazette and Byline (along with Doppler) can be found over here.

Conclusion

While Gazette has more listed features than Byline ( see link above), it still came off to me as slightly unpolished.

Hopefully Matt Rajca will be able to spend some extra time polishing this application, as it has the serious potential of being one of the main contenders (at least as far as Google Reader iPhone apps go).

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  1. By Kel posted on March 10, 2009 at 1:17 am
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    Hmm.. I found less issues with Gazette than with Byline. Byline is prettier, but functionality and speed are what I need – the wood style thing is OK, but not needed.

    Byline would often take a long time (longer than Gazette) to pull all the feeds in – I only have 455 feeds. And worse yet, Byline choked on some Atom Feeds that gReader and Gazette parsed without issue.

    I’d sent off bug reports to the Byline developer but never heard back.

    Reply

  2. By Kel posted on March 10, 2009 at 3:20 am
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    Hmm.. I found less issues with Gazette than with Byline. Byline is prettier, but functionality and speed are what I need – the wood style thing is OK, but not needed.

    Byline would often take a long time (longer than Gazette) to pull all the feeds in – I only have 455 feeds. And worse yet, Byline choked on some Atom Feeds that gReader and Gazette parsed without issue.

    I’d sent off bug reports to the Byline developer but never heard back.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

    Reply

  3. By Agustinus Feiry posted on March 10, 2009 at 7:05 am
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    Great Post!!

    I’m looking for a google reader app that have better features not just a name. This review is objective and very helpful to me.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  4. By Dwaine posted on May 17, 2009 at 6:49 am
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    Just to mention, you can actually unread in byline by simple swiping backwards on the topic.

    Haven’t tried gazette, but is enticed by it’s simpleness. Byline can be a bit slow on loading most times.

    dg

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