I have been an avid Redditor since I walked the halls of my high school blaring Iron Maiden through my first generation iPod and my hair was halfway down my back — yes, I was a cool kid. Hairstyles of the early 2000s aside, I have been lurking, commenting, posting, and upvoting on Reddit for about over decade and browsing Reddit on your iPhone or iPad has always been a frustrating experience. The new Apollo Reddit Client (hereby now referred to as just Apollo) is one man's effort to make a Reddit app that is as simple, fast, and easy to use as the Reddit you visit on your browser, and by golly, I think he's done it.
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A brief Reddit app history
To understand why Apollo is such a big deal, you need a quick history lesson. Once upon a time, there were many third-party apps for Reddit, and all of them were problematic. Limits on what subreddits you could find, GIFs that wouldn't load correctly, or even not give you the ability to upvote or downvote posts, these apps made for a subpar experience.
Then one day, an app called Alien Blue rose from the depths and quickly became the Reddit, client king. It was better than all the apps out there, and I used it for a long time. That is until Reddit itself bought out Alien Blue and tasked the developers to create an official Reddit app and killed off the service to Alien Blue and by that I mean Alien Blue is no longer supported by its developers.
Since then the official Reddit app was the only way to browse Reddit conveniently on your iPhone or iPad until now.
Why I love Apollo
I have now been using Apollo for over a week, and I can definitively tell you I will not be going back to the official Reddit app. Apollo's tagline is "Beautiful. Fast. Powerful." And It delivers on all of those promises and makes browsing, commenting, and posting on Reddit feel natural.
Made for iPhone and iPad
The creator of Apollo is a former Apple intern, Christian Selig, and he set out to make a Reddit app that used the iOS design guidelines and knowledge he learned, and with that, he managed to make a Reddit client that feels like it belongs on your phone.
Everything from the menus to the swipe gestures to the design all feels familiar to an iPhone user. That familiarity is not only comforting; it makes Apollo as easy to use as any other default app that Apple puts on your iPhone.
Simplicity is king
You'll notice a common theme throughout the design and interface in Apollo is the concept that simplicity is king. Whether you're browsing the front page in compact view to get as many post and information in a short amount of time, or you're lurking through a subreddits that's heavily visual with the large thumbnails view, the design is as minimalist as it gets.
This design choice allows you to focus on the information you want to without your eyes have to fight for attention on the screen. Also, Apollo works in landscape mode! It makes scrolling through Reddit on your iPad so much better knowing you can use the entire screen in landscape rather than the pitiful center alignment that the official Reddit app gives you (as seen above on the left.)
Gestures make the world a better place
By far my favorite part of Apollo is the ability to perform tasks with gestures, specifically upvoting, downvoting, commenting, and saving.
Like everything else in the app, the gestures are kept simple — swiping left or right — and they allow you to browse Reddit at lightning fast speeds. If you come across a post you want to upvote, merely do a short swipe right on the post, and you'll be done. Want to downvote a comment? Easy! Just perform a long right swipe. Of course, you can choose to ignore the swiping gestures and use icons and buttons to accomplish the same task, but once you get used to the gestures, you'll realize just how quickly you can do everything.
You can even customize the gestures in Apollo's settings menu to do a plethora of other actions, meaning you can browse Reddit the way you want.
No app is ever perfect, and Christian Selig knows there's always room to improve. If you head over to the Apollo app subreddit, you'll see a community already coming together to improve the minor bugs or annoyance that have popped up for some users and Christian himself is exceptionally active and responsive to feedback always trying to improve the app in any way he can. It's wonderful to see Christian be so passionate about Apollo and actively listening and responding to comments and feedback is just the kind of indie developer I want to support.
Speaking of support, I would highly suggest you throw $2.99 to upgrade to the pro version of Apollo. This will not only let you create posts but also includes quite a few neat features like scheduling times for dark mode to kick in and out. You obviously don't have to; if you're just a Reddit lurker and you don't bother posting or commenting, you can use Apollo as is and take advantage of a well-designed app.
At the end of the day, Apollo has become my preferred way to Reddit. It's insanely intuitive, has great customization options, and the simple gestures make browsing Reddit a lightning fast experience. If you are a Redditor, whether you're on it all the time, or just check out-out casually, Apollo is the best Reddit client available on iPhone and iPad, and you should download it now.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.