Google Reader is going away, but Press is here to stay and integrates perfectly with new services
When Google casually noted that it would shut down its RSS aggregation service Reader back in March, news apps that relied on it as a backbone were left scrambling. As alternative services to Google Reader such as Feedly and Feed Wrangler popped up on the scene, a few of the aforementioned apps pivoted quickly to integrate the new services. We gave one of such apps, Press, the review treatment as a Google Reader client back in December and came away extremely impressed with its design and performance.
Even though Google Reader will close its doors on July 1st, Press lives on as a fantastic RSS client that will work with (among other systems) the Feedly account you may have set up to save yourself from losing everything. The developers have made some great settings and user interface improvements along the way as well, so let's take a refreshed look at Press.
Press has a simple and intuitive interface that groups your RSS feeds into three different columns: unread, read and starred. You can swipe easily between the three, where you'll see items grouped by folder (which are simply synced from Feedly et al.) with numbers and a series of dots indicating how many items are in each folder to be read. Tapping a single folder expands to show each source inside the folder, again with unread counts. Once you dive into individual articles you can smoothly scroll through each, with a continuous scrolling paradigm that lets you move on between articles in a given grouping. With the latest updates Press has also incorporated left-edge swiping to navigate "back" in the hierarchy of articles, sources and folders. We come to the same conclusion now as we did some 7 months ago when Press was released -- this is a fantastically designed app.
For many the best part about Press is its seamless integration with a number of services that provide the same front-end experience to the user. No matter which service you choose to use on the back end -- Google Reader (for a moment), Feedly, Feed Wrangler or FeedBin -- the interface for navigating folders and articles will be the same. The settings menu will look much the same as well, offering sync options such as intervals and max items, interface options to control the feel of the app and many more to get things tweaked the way you want it.
While its worth giving credit to Feedly for having its own app available for Android to supplement its fantastic web offering, we see little reason not to give Press a good look before deciding to go with that first-party client. At just $2.99 in the Play Store, Press has proven to us that a power user app such as an RSS reader can still be a smooth and beautiful experience. We're glad that Press has made the transition to support other services in light of Google Reader's shutdown -- Android needs more apps like this.