Amidst all of the hubaloo around Apple’s announcements, one of my favorite iPhone apps was updated to v2.0 today. Byline, by Phantom Fish is an RSS reader application. It’s big claim to fame is the synchronization/support of the Google Reader API. However, 2.0 has some other great new features.
- A new interface and icon
- Syncs with folders (tags)
- It now has a built-in web browser (more below)
- Allows note creation and deletion
- Allows you to email links
- Archives starred items immediately, with no refresh required
- No longer affects the performance of iTunes backups
- Pages archived for offline browsing no longer displace feed content
I absolutely love the new interface. The initial release of Byline was by no means ugly, although version 2.0 now has a warm wood-tone background and nicer icons. Further, the author has also made the list of articles much more readable (nice shadowing).
One of the big items in this upgrade is the fact that backups are now much, much faster. Apple had improved backups with the iPhone 2.1 software update, but for me, the previous version of Byline (1.0.2) still caused my iPhone backups to be slow. Not anymore.
Another big win is the built-in web browser. No more waiting for Safari to open and then display the particular article. Now, I can read my feeds in one place.
When Byline was launch this past July, I was very excited that someone had built an app that would enable offline reading of Google Reader feeds (and synchronize the status of those read/unread items). What made me very unhappy was the price of the app — $9.99.
Well, for those fortunate souls, Byline is now a much more reasonable $3.99. This price is for a limited time, so if you want offline reading of your Google feeds, then get this app now. And, for those who already purchased, it is a free upgrade (thank you Phantom Fish!).