Slow Feeds Makes Reading RSS Feeds More Manageable

Though RSS feeds are meant to make it a little easier to stay on top of new items posted on your favorite websites, the sheer number of articles published by some sites can overwhelm others, making this task more difficult in reality when you go to catch up in your favorite feed reader. Zozi Apps created Slow Feeds in an attempt to help you parse through your feeds and make sure that high volume sites don’t drown out sites that publish new items less frequently.

Stefan Pauwels of Zozi Apps said that he created Slow Feeds for two reasons: to avoid worrying about post frequency when subscribing to a new feed and to avoid manually managing feeds with folders and tags.

Slow Feeds is made to work explicitly with Google Reader, so you’ll need a free Google Reader account to use it. Once you’re logged in to your Google Reader account in Slow Feeds, you’ll see the feeds you’ve subscribed to broken down into three tabs: Slow Feeds, High Volume, and Starred.

The High Volume tab shows you all items from feeds that are updated frequently. This list shows you only the article titles to cram more onto the screen so you can scroll through them more quickly. I find that viewing this list in landscape orientation enables me to read the complete titles more often than not. Tapping on a title takes you to a separate view showing the article or whatever amount of information the publisher chooses to display in the feed.

The Slow Feeds tab separates out those feeds that are updated less frequently than those shown on the High Volume tab. A bit more information is shown in this view for each item as well so you can get a better sense of the contents of each item at a quick glance. Tapping on an item in this list will also bring you to a new view that shows more of the selected article (or, again, as much as the publisher chooses to display in the feed).

There are no other bells and whistles in Slow Feeds. You can’t create folders or view your feeds by folders you’ve created in the past, nor can you subscribe to new feeds or edit your existing subscriptions. The only controls let you refresh the view and toggle between viewing only unread items or showing both read and unread items. A sharing button that’s visible when viewing an individual item lets you share a link to the selected article via Twitter or Facebook or save it for later reading via Instapaper.

I like the concept of Slow Feeds a lot since there are many feeds I subscribe to that can inundate my Google Reader account and essentially hide the articles from sites that publish new content less often. It has a straightforward and clean interface and while I’m not a fan of the color scheme, Slow Feeds does a good job of separating my feeds so I’m less likely to miss articles. I do wish for one additional feature in Slow Feeds: a “mark all read” button so I can clear out the contents of the High Volume tab once I’m done going through it. Or at least once I’ve had enough and want to stop before my eyes start bleeding.

Slow Feeds debuted in the App Store in late March and was updated with a few new features earlier this month. It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (though it does not have an interface optimized for its larger screen) and requires iOS 5.0 or higher.


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