Reading the news on the go is something a lot of us do with our devices. Even better, waking up and reading all the stuff you’re interested in on your phone instead of in the newspaper is a godsend. There are a couple of ways to get news and articles on your device, and most of us use RSS or a news aggregation service like Feedly. Unfortunately, the apps themselves aren’t really that great: while there are a couple of really cool RSS clients, the Feedly official app is pretty bad and doesn’t offer a lot of options. Enter Palabre, a newsreader client that does everything right and looks good while doing it.
There really was a void when it comes to quality RSS clients on Android. There are a few paid apps that can be nice, but in terms of free apps, they all had their small annoyances and performance issues, and the presentation wasn’t that great either. Especially now with the Android platform moving to Material Design as its default style, those old apps tend to clash and stand out in comparison. So the fact that a new app can come in and fix all of these issues in one go is pretty remarkable.
You can get your own copy of Palabre through here, in the official Play Store. The app is free, stable and extremely easy to use. For starters, when you first open the app you will see an intro screen asking you to log in using Feedly or to simply proceed:
If you choose to proceed, the app will suggest you some content to get started, which you can subscribe to if you don’t have a subscription list ready:
However, chances are that what you actually want is to use Feedly, since that synchronizes and keeps track of your subscriptions and interests across services. So, log in with your Feedly account though the browser. The app will then start to import your information and present your unread articles to you:
As you can see, the app is definitely Material Design inspired. There are a bunch of animations everywhere, it makes good use of floating buttons and everything seems to be colorful and neat. But don’t be fooled into thinking this app’s only party trick are its good looks, because there’s a lot of functionality as well. For starters, you can take a look at the options:
All of the important settings are in there, including a dark mode for night reading and a way to present things to you on a list:
The app is still in development, so hopes are that a lot more options are coming in the future, but what’s already there is nice and it’s all useful, no fluff. Turning on the list mode option, for example, presents items to you in a way that’s similar to something like the official Feedly app:
You can swipe left and right to advance to the next item, and the app is also extremely responsive and performs great. Tapping an article makes a sliding animation happen where the lead picture of the article slides up to the top with a floating share button within it. Not only that, but the reader automatically shows you a condensed version of the article, sort of an automatic reading mode:
This makes it so you can focus on the content and cut out the fat. If you wish to, of course, you can see the article as it originally appears on the site, courtesy of the built-in browser:
The fact that it uses a built-in browser and doesn’t require you to open an external browser (although it gives you the option if you so wish) is also nice, as it keeps the application in memory and stops memory-hungry browsers like Chrome from closing it once it goes on the background. The app also lets you alternate between only showing unread articles and showing all articles, and lets you easily navigate between categories by swiping. In conjunction with the option to mark articles as read when you scroll past them, this is a great way to manage your reading list and keep things clean.
Overall, this is a great app and it has become my favorite newsreader. The design is great, the performance and animations all add a special flair to the experience, and it’s very usable and clean, ideal for what you want when catching up to the latest news. I would definitely recommend it for someone that is looking to ditch their current client, or that has a preference for Material Design apps.