Turbine Reader

Turbine Reader

Turbine Reader is one of the few newsreader apps which stay extremely faithful to iOS 7’s design philosophies and technologies. It has a highly minimalistic design, which I think is essential to all kind of news reading apps. It takes all the clutter out and puts the focus on just one thing — the ‘content’.

Turbine Reader currently supports just two services — Feedwrangler or Feedbin, although you can use only one account at a time. The app presents a standard sidebar approach on the iPad, with all your subscriptions listed in it. These can be accessed by a simple swipe or a button. Tapping on any of the feeds displays all the recent articles from that feed and finally when you tap the article, the contents are displayed on the right side. The sidebar automatically hides itself when you are in Portrait mode on the iPad. And on the iPhone, obviously, there is no side bar and instead you have a separate screen for subscription and article list. But it would have been nicer if the top bar was auto-hidden on the iPhone when reading an article, thus allowing you to see more and utilizing the screen real-estate in a better way. Turbine Reader has a night mode and while it is a welcome feature, you can’t manually turn it on. This is a big let down for me as I really enjoy reading in the night mode.

Turbine Reader supports iOS 7’s awesome background feature, so all your articles are fetched and ready for reading when you launch it. This feature, along with the dark theme, could be the key reasons why many of you might actually prefer this over Reeder 2. Turbine Reader supports two ‘Read Later’ services — Instapaper and Pocket. While reading any article, the top bar has a “Save for Later” button along with the usual buttons — ‘Mark as read’, ‘Starring an article’ and ‘Sharing’. Turbine Reader’s feature-set is in stark contrast to Reeder 2, which utilizes gestures in many ways and provides many more options as a newsreader app in general.

In my testing, Turbine also didn’t score good points when it comes to quality and stability of the app, The app froze more than twice in 3 hours, and also isn’t as responsive as Reeder 2’s silky smooth user interface. The performance isn’t bad, but having gotten used to Reeder 2 in the past, Turbine feels lacking something.

Turbine Reader is a good app that offers a minimal design with a strong focus on content as well as a night mode for those to love taking their feeds to bed. However, Reeder 2 still manages to offer a better ‘whole package’, especially considering they’re priced the same on the App Store. Turbine Reader is Universal and $4.99 on the App Store.