Earlier today, TechCrunch pointed out a conflict between two developers of RSS feed reader apps. Silvio Rizzi, the developer of the highly-rated Reeder for iPad, had noticed that NibiruTech Limited’s MobileRSS HD looked a lot like his own app. A lot. He went so far as to create a special web page showing pictures of his app and NibiruTech’s side-by-side, which you can see here.
With a release date of the MobileRSS HD version in question (3.0) several months after Reeder’s, it appeared to Rizzi that NibiruTech had essentially copied the design of his app.
Looking at the screenshots posted by Rizzi, it seems clear that NibiruTech decided that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And Nibirutech really wanted to compliment Rizzi.
TechCrunch reached out to NibiruTech to see what they had to say about this accusation and received the following response:
We are submitting an update to MobileRSS immediately which will include modifications to the UI elements that most mimic Reeder. We respect the work that Reeder has done but are most concerned with serving users and improving MobileRSS for everyone. These improvements include ideas pioneered by Reeder, but we have current and upcoming features which are unique to our app not found in other RSS readers.
But to be clear, we’re taking immediate action to correct this and will remove the similarities to Reeder at once.
NibiruTech’s response admits no guilt but is quick to commit changes to eliminate the similarities. We watch the App Store closely and it pains and disappoints us to see the kind of design theft that appears to have happened here. To boot, Rizzi is an independent developer with only two apps in the App Store at the time of this post and is the David to Nibirutech’s Goliath, a company founded in 2007 with 13 developers on staff and several apps in the App Store.
Nibirutech has decreased the price of MobileRSS HD to $.99, down from $4.99 but we don’t recommend that you buy it. If you’re looking for a solid, well-designed RSS app that syncs with Google Reader for the iPad and want to support Rizzi, check out his Reeder for iPad instead.