Glasshouse Apps, makers of the gorgeous Barista and Cellar apps for iPhone and iPod touch is branching out for the iPad with Early Edition RSS [$4.99 - iTunes link] -- and yes, it's gorgeous.

Like Apple itself, they're going for a much more "real world" UI metaphor, in this case a newspaper. The main content is not so much flowed as typeset into place beneath the big, banner headline that's your latest article, and a cascade of older, and thus smaller, articles beneath it.

In landscape mode you get a sidebar similar to the built-in Notes app, with a circle around the currently viewed feed (or all feeds, the top choice). In portrait mode, you get a popover that serves the same function.

There's no Google Reader or Instapaper support yet (see comments, below) but they should be coming. That'll be a major drawback for some, but in the meantime you can add any feed you like with the handy plus button. (I cut and pasted Android Central's feed in from Safari with nary a problem).

Once loaded, tapping on a headline takes you to the RSS version of the article and you can toggle over to the web version in-app. In a nice touch, if you back out of an article and then tap it again, it remembers which state you were last in.

All the text showed up nicely rendered and easy to read, and graphics and even inline YouTube video were right there. I couldn't double tap to get the video full screen, but it played within the page just fine.

Note: they were kind enough to include TiPb's review feed as a default, along with TUAW, Apple Hot News, and some others. Risky, because if they mangled it our thanks could easily have turned into venomous sideways glares. Lucky for all involved, they nailed it.

If you're looking for RSS on your iPad, love good design, and Google Reader and Instapaper aren't "must haves" at this very moment, then check out Early Edition and let us know what you think!

Video and screen shots after the break!

YouTube link

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