I started to use News Bento quite a while ago on my Windows 8 Tablet and I have kept using it as my main news/rss reader…until now. Since Google shut down Google Reader, the one product from Google that I actually used and liked, the app is really amputated.
First of all you now have to manage your news feed inside the app itself. Okay, that is not show-stopper perhaps. What is much worse however is that the app itself do not give you any means of grouping several feeds into one master feed. So for me for instance that have several feeds for each of my categories like Movie Stuff, Computing, Audio & Video etc, it means that I have to click on every single feed one by one in order to read all my news. Of course I have to mark all the news as read one by one for each feed as well. I find this to be a major and unacceptable inconvenience.
Also, with the feeds being managed entirely by the app there is no synchronization if you read news on multiple devices. What you have marked as read on one device will still be marked as unread on another device.
Since I really liked News Bento I have been clinging to it until now. That they have still not come with an update is just not acceptable. It tells me that the app do not really have the support that it needs. They have advertised on their web site that grouping will come “soon”. This have been stated for quite a while though so their concept of soon obviously do not match my idea of soon. It also appears like they will not support another service, like Feedly, but just implement grouping in the app itself which fixes one issue but will not bring back all the features that Google Reader gave.
So, I have finally given up and chosen a different news reader. My choice fell on Readiy which is built using Feedly as its news provider service. The support of Feedly was one of my main criteria’s when choosing what app to use. By using Feedly I can manage my news feeds using any browser on a normal PC and there are also several app choices on other devices like my Windows Phone 8 which supports Feedly. With Feedly as the back-end all my news will also be in sync on any device I choose to use.
The reader itself is simple and easy to use with a fairly clean interface and most of the necessary settings. The feed overview pages are clear and easy to read with images (when available in the feed) and a short text. It scrolls fluidly and seamlessly without the annoying “page by page” way of scrolling that some readers have. Articles comes up either as they are published in the rss feed or you can get a Readability version of the actual article or you can, of course, jump out to read the article in a browser. If you mark a feed of feed group as read it automatically moves you to the next.
In short it is doing what I would expect it to do in a simple and efficient way that I like.