I love that there are so many great choices of RSS readers on iPhone and iPad. At the moment, my favorite when it comes to iOS and iPadOS 14 features, lira, is an RSS client packed with power user features. With the latest update, the app has been launched on the App Store, which means it is a new purchase, with excellent support for the iPad’s new design with three columns and widgets.
RSS readers are perfect for the iPad’s new three-column design. Lire’s left pane contains many ways to navigate feeds, the center pane shows your articles, and the right pane shows each article. The first two columns can be hidden so you can focus on what you are reading.
Lire supports multiple RSS synchronization services or can be used in standalone mode. I use Inoreader to sync my feeds and appreciate that lira supports the service̵
The second part of the lyre’s left panel is Discover, which collects special streams created by the lyre from the feeds you follow, including:
- Hot Links – frequently cited links
- Linked list – link posts from feeds
- Recently (called Today if set to display one day of posts) – the articles published in a user-defined period
- Calm Feeds – posts from feeds that are not published often
- Authors – your feeds reorganized by the people who wrote the posts
The last part is folders. I use folders to organize most feeds by topic. It is a loose tool that allows me to quickly bypass certain topics when I do not have time for them.
The subheadings under each of the three main sections in the left sidebar can be expanded and hidden. For example, that allows me to tap the Apple folder and view the contents without seeing the names of the individual feeds. It’s a big space saver because I do not dive into my RSS feeds when publishing very often. However, I will also be able to collapse the top-level headlines for the times I do not want to scroll through any of the five sections under Discover, for example. That’s a small point, but with a lot of feeds, the more I can control what I see on the screen, the better.
Most of the time, however, I figure out a folder, hide the left panel, scan the headlines, and tap the stories I want to read. The article list can be grouped by date or subscription and sorted by date and last to the oldest or vice versa. At the top of the list is a search box, and at the bottom are controls for filtering the article view so that it shows all unread, starred, or any of six other combinations. There is also a button to mark all the articles in the section you are reading as read, and swiping left and right over an article in the list reveals two customizable actions in each direction.
For focused reading, you can hide both columns by concentrating on one article at a time. In this view, it is easy to return to the first two columns by swiping in from the left edge of the iPad or by swiping with two fingers over the toolbar if you are using a trackpad.
In the article pane, lire lets you change font, margins, text size, line spacing and more by pressing the ‘Aa’ button in the toolbar. Along the bottom of the article view, there are a series of action buttons to highlight individual articles as read or unread, share the article, go forward or backward through your articles, tag and a toolbar shortcut, which is my favorite button. The toolbar shortcut can be customized in the lyre settings to display one of several services or other actions. For example, you can set it up to star or unstar a story, or send it to Safari Reading List, Instapaper, Pocket, Pinboard, My Personal Choice, GoodLinks, and more.
There are too many settings to tour them all, but like any good power user RSS client, lira gives you a lot of control. You can set your sync service here and adjust audio settings, badging, appearance, Discover section, sorting, item-specific settings and more. It is worth looking around at the settings when you first configure the lira and then go back to them after using the app for a while to see if there is anything else you want to change.
There is a lot of functionality wrapped up in a single app, but with some time spent setting it up the way you want, lira is a great way to read RSS. Better yet, with the ability to hide left and center panes and collapse in the left sidebar, you can sweep away the complexity and focus on other than reading when the toolbars disappear when you browse an article, which is also a setting that can be turned on and off. of. Combined with extensive keyboard shortcuts and motion support, I can work my way quickly through hundreds of headlines and find the handful I want to read carefully.
For the times I am busy, I have found that the new widgets for lira are a great resource. There are two types: Hot Links and Articles, which come in all three widget sizes. I do not use the Hot Links section of Discover much because most stories that explode online capture my attention via Twitter first. However, I like the idea of having a way to see these links on the home screen instead. Twitter is an important research tool, but it can also be a distraction, so having another place to quickly find top stories is a plus.
However, my favorite widget is the lires Articles widget, which shows a highly customizable article list. You can select the source of the list, its status (any, read and starred) and style (any or linked). You can also add a title search term to further refine the list. In addition, the source can be a folder, feed, Calm Feeds or an individual author.
With a list of articles, even the large widget feels small, which is why the level of customization in lira is so important. Another touch I like is that you can tap the title of the widget to go directly to that part of the app or tap an article that opens that article instead. At the moment I have set up the large version of the widget to display unread articles in my Apple folder.
There has never been a better time to be a fan of RSS. Not only are there great options on iOS and iPadOS, but there are new choices on the Mac now, including the lira, which I reviewed last fall and am among my favorite Mac Catalyst apps. With the advent of Optimized for Mac, I’m looking forward to how lire’s developers take the Mac version further. In the meantime, however, I recommend trying the latest update to the iPhone and iPad version of lira.
Lire is available on the App Store for $ 9.99.