The first thing that impresses you when you first boot up Slide RSS is that there is a cool little animation on the apps title screen. Not a major thing by any stretch of the imagination, but a lovely touch, and it makes me wonder why other apps don’t have things like this.
Ok, so you may be releasing a fairly mundane calculator or converter app, but there is no reason not to spruce up the front end a little. Kudos to the developer for this.
We have covered a few RSS readers here on the site such as Rainbow and Voknow, each offering something a little different from your usual RSS offering, and Slide RSS also does things a little differently.
Slide RSS is a reader dedicated to Media RSS feeds, so instead of showing you a mixture of text and images, the app just displays feeds with media tags. It’s not for catching up on the latest news, rather for viewing the latest images from your favourite photo or picture site, such as Flickr.
The app can then display the results in an attractive slide show that can be customised to your liking.
So, the app does have a specific mandate and it does this really well, although there should be more options for adding feeds. You can choose to play a slide show of a mix of your feeds or individual feeds and there are a whole host of ways to customise the playback, from a dozen or so transition options, to what text, if any, to display as well as options for screen rotation, picture sizing and whether to auto continue the slides from the last display. During the slide show you can swipe left and right to manually switch between photos and, in a nod to webOS, swipe up to throw away a picture, hiding it from the slide show.
There are actually a few nice webOS features on display, such as the option to play the slide show while minimised and to auto update the feeds in the background as well as to prevent the screen from timing out. Exhibition mode is also a big plus, and definitely a reason to fall in love with Slide RSS.
The app comes with a really nice selection of default feed built-in, and I suggest you check them out as they are an eclectic mix of feeds that display a really wide variety of imagery. The problem comes with adding new feeds to the app. You can only add a feed if you know it’s URL, so you must either type it in or copy/paste from the browser. If you have webOS 2.0+ there is also the option of adding your devices pictures, but the big thing missing is the ability to search the internet for media feeds.
The ability to search for feeds using a few keywords would truly open this app up, and make it far easier for those who are not too tech savvy or have never really looked into photo and media feeds before. Better Flickr integration would also help as, while you can obviously add any Flickr feed you like, I have a feeling that a lot of people won’t be aware of how to do this, so if you had the option of logging into your account that would also help to get people started with the app.
Facebook photo viewing would also help to broaden the appeal somewhat, as would Twitter integration. I’d love to see all these things added to the app, as you would then have a world-class experience on your hands, as the app gets everything else spot on.
The user interface is excellent, with great use of the webOS feature set and lovely presentation. You can combine the app with some music from your own collection and just leave it running while you work, as indeed I am while writing this review, and the result is a relaxing experience.
Overall, this is a great looking and useful app with a great hook into webOS and would be considered outstanding with a few minor additions. As it stands, this is still a highly recommended app, especially for those who have the latest version of webOS on their device.
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