AppSmile Review: ByLine for iPhone OS

This is the Review of ByLine for iPhone OS.

These days RSS feed are all the rage. Basically an RSS feed allows you to read posts from a blog or news site in a compressed format. You can subscribe to feeds and read them with RSS readers such as Google Reader. What’s the advantage? You can collect news from various sites all in one location allowing you to visit that one location to get all of your updates. So, what does all of this have to do with Byline? Byline collects all your RSS subscriptions from your Google Reader account and displays them on your iPhone or iPod Touch. But Byline goes a step further – it saves your feeds for offline reading!

It’s true that there are many RSS feed readers out there in the App Store, even free ones. However, Byline is one of the few that connects to your Google Reader account. That means when you read news using Byline on your iPhone, your Google Reader will update and remember the feeds you’ve already viewed. This unique method prevents duplicate reading and saves you time.

Here’s our AppSmile favorite Byline features list:

  • Offline reading or your Google Reader subscriptions (So you don’t need an internet connection to read your previously cached feeds on an iPod Touch, or when you don’t have a signal with your iPhone)
  • Built in browser allows you to access the entire webpage of individual feeds offline
  • You can Star favorite items and find when quickly in your Google Reader page
  • Clean interface for easily previewing feeds (Displays each feed’s Source, Title, Date, and the first 2 lines of the article)
  • Ability to add notes to individual feeds
  • Ability to email individual feeds to your friends

Here’s what AppSmile thinks could be improved:

  • Woodgrain interface theme? Yuck!
  • You cannot browse individual feeds but instead need to organize your feeds with labels within Google Reader first. Then these lables will show up as folders in Byline
  • You can only cache up to 200 items per folder for offline viewing
  • Phantom Fish has been slow in providing updates for Byline

All in all, we at AppSmile like Byline a lot. Athough we would like to see a few improvements, Byline stands out among the flood off RSS readers on the App Store. If you are a Google Reader fanatic and you often don’t have access to the internet, we think you’ll love Byline.