Blogshelf for iPad - app review

Blogshelf for the iPad is an RSS reader that displays your feeds as magazines on a shelf. Imagine iBooks filled with blogs - that's Blogshelf. This reader is visually appealing and works great.

When you open Blogshelf, you are presented with 3 shelves filled with your favorite blogs designed to look like magazines. In addition to the blog's name, the "front cover" displays the title and main photo of the most recent story for that blog.

When selecting a blog, the stories are displayed in a nice list view with a photo to left of each story. Again, if that story doesn't have a picture, one of Blogshelf's photos are displayed instead. If you have selected any stories as a favorite, you can tap the heart on the menu bar to see list of your favorite entries. This menu bar can be hidden by swiping down or tapping once anywhere on the screen.

Most blogs will allow viewing of entire articles, but there are a few (like Apple Insider) that do not. I found this to be extremely rare, though. When viewing a reading a story, there are links at the top to view in Safari or to view the original article in the app itself. The stories are displayed very nicely with just photos, videos and text. YouTube videos can be watched in the articles or expanded to full screen.

To subscribe to a blog, tap on "subscribe" from the Blogshelf. The shelf then spins around and brings you to something similar to the iBookstore. Blogshelf has many blogs available to quickly subscribe to by searching for featured blogs or by category. Unfortunately, TiPb (your favorite blog) isn't listed under any of the categories, but, you can do a quick search to find all of our feeds.

Blogshelf is an excellent RSS reader for the iPad. However, if you are a Google Reader user, Blogshelf does not have a way to import your feeds. So if that is really important to you, Blogshelf isn't for you. But for everyone else, if you looks and style are important to you, I recommend picking this one up!

Pros

  • Nice interface
  • Very Apple-like
  • Offline viewing
  • Search blogs by feature and category
  • Adjust font and brightness

Cons

  • Cannot import from Google Reader
  • Thumbnails don't always load correctly
  • TiPb isn't included in the technology or Apple categories!

TiPb iPad 4-star rated

[$4.99 - iTunes link]

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Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

India says:

I'm Leary of spending $5 on an rss reader. Especially it we can get them for free. I will check out the app from the app store and see if I can decide if I want to spend the money on it or not.

Auth says:

Very exciting news. I can't wait to throw frblioapd, which seems to think all my google reader feeds (about 80 of them) deserve to be just one grouping. They ignore folders, very annoying. Can't wait to have the same great feedly experience from Chrome and Firefox on my iPad 2.Any thoughts on support for webOS and the HP touchpad when it comes out? I know webOS is small in terms of user count but it'll grow

Fábio says:

It looks pretty nice but the lack of integration with Google Reader is a negative and import point for me.

wplantz says:

This looked so good even for $5 but no Google Reader integration is a deal breaker :(

kbduvall says:

You should contact the developer and request that they add TiPb to the list of tech/Apple blogs.

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Kamal Hussain says:

There are now so many Appls on the market for the Apple iPad and iPhone for free.

Richard Butler says:

I don't think the lack of Google Reader integration for me. In fact, the one app would allow me to clear off about 10-12 blog apps now taking up space until the big release comes along allowing formation of folders. As to the $5 cost, I have spent over $200 already, so what's another $5 really going to hurt? It's an attractive app that should be on everyone's iPad. And integration with Google Reader might just be in the next update if not release.

Redwan says:

At the moment I'm woinrkg on an iPhone and Android version. If I can devote enough time to the project I'll plan on a Blackberry version. Sign up for my email list and I'll keep you posted! Thanks.