“Google Gears” Plus gReader Plus iPhone Equals BoltReader?

Filed as Features on March 19, 2009 3:23 pm

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If there ever was a Google Reader app that allowed you to view your entire feeds offline, BoltReader would be it.

Created by what appears to be a small nimble team (note: they did not respond to my inquiries), BoltReader seems to be the first Google Reader iPhone app that allows you to view both text and images offline, without having to rely upon a third party service like Instapaper.

Users may also fall in love with BoltReader’s user interface, which seems to blend the traditional folder view with the “river of news” layout.

While BoltReader does support features like starring, sharing, and landscape mode, here are a couple traits users may enjoy about this gReader app.

The Good

As stated above, the offline mode in BoltReader supports both text and images. While many of its rivals (like Byline and Feeds) do support offline viewing, they only backup the text within the app.

Not only was BoltReader able to cache the images along with the text, but they were able to do so very fast for both images and text (a surprising feat considering I am subscribed to over 400 feeds).

BoltReader also allows you to mark all of your feeds as either read or unread, whether your are browsing feeds within a folder, or simply viewing all of your feeds together (note: be careful with the last one).

The Bad

While BoltReader was for the most part bug free (note: it did crash on me only once), the app may not please power users as it is missing the ability to create and view notes/comments.

BoltReader also lacks the ability to view shared items, which is odd since it allows you to share feeds for your friends and fans to see.

Although BoltReader was extremly fast when it came to syncing images and text, the app seems rather sluggish when switching to landscape mode, and tends to “enlarge” the font (as one will notice when they switch back to the portrait layout).

Conclusion

Priced at $2, BoltReader is a fairly decent app that may attact users looking for a powerful app that does not drain the wallet.

While its lack of notes was not enough to replace Byline for me (which ironically was a missing feature for most gReader apps reviewed), its complete offline viewing may attract bloggers who are often on the road (or live in areas with weak cellphone signal).

Note: A side-by-side comparison between BoltReader and the rest of the gReader apps can be seen over here.

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