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Our look at the pros and cons of eight popular Reddit apps.
I Reddit on my Android phone
Social news site Reddit, as has been pointed out more than a few times, is a serious digital addiction for many of its users. So why wouldn’t you want the ability to read, upvote and comment from your Android phone? Here’s a quick take on eight of the most popular free Reddit delivery systems available for the platform. (Please note – these are subjective reviews. Your experience and tastes may vary.)
One of the two heirs apparent to RIF, Reddit Sync’s main strength is in its gorgeous presentation (which draws heavily on Google’s own Holo design) and its generally excellent performance. I could see the interface not being for everyone, but, hey, this is my review and it works great for me. Arguably the best out there.
Reddit Is Fun
The first Android Reddit app to see widespread use is still the most popular, and the standard by which all others are judged. Others might have slicker layouts or more intuitive interfaces, but Reddit Is Fun is reliable, usable, and tough to beat. While I frequently try different apps, I keep coming back to this one.
The other main challenger to RIF is nicely presented, has an intuitive interface and is generally a strong entrant. In my experience, though, BaconReader still suffers from minor performance issues, which keeps it from being my day-to-day Reddit app of choice. (Problems that plagued earlier versions, like crummy subreddit switching and an apparent inability to remember my Reddit credentials have apparently been fixed, however.)
Reddionic’s not the best-known Reddit app out there, but its combination of slick presentation and generally high performance has always appealed to me. Unfortunately, it still has (admittedly minor) reliability issues and some of its interface design can be unintuitive.
Reddit News feels like an attempt to mate Reddit Sync’s visual style with BaconReader’s interface. It’s not a bad app, by any means, but it just doesn’t quite reach the heights of the other two – it’s not as pretty as Sync, retains the slight sluggishness of BaconReader, and occasionally annoys with intrusive little pop-up hints and tips. Minor issues, to be sure, but it’s a competitive field. I dig that font, though.
It’s a fork of an early version of RIF, and it shows. Diode feels like a last-gen Android app in a lot of unfortunate ways. While RIF proper has added a lot of minor tweaking to keep up with a fast-strengthening field, Diode seems to have lagged behind pretty substantially. It’s still functional, to be fair, but it lacks performance, visual flair and a realistic way to differentiate itself from either RIF or the rest of the field.
This one seems like a stripped-down version of Sync, with a similar interface but fewer visual bells and whistles. While it’s not particularly usable right now – it’s pretty crashy, and why is that goofy preview pane on by default? It’s important to acknowledge that Reddit Now is still a beta, and will likely improve.
GRADE: C-, for the moment.
This is the only entry on the list that was entirely new to me, and while it’s probably my least favorite of the bunch as it stands, it has potential. The big image previews are an ambitious idea, and it’s definitely got a unique look and feel. That said, however, it’s crammed full of rough edges – UI scaling, performance, unintuitive menus – and many reviews complain that sucks up huge amounts of device storage and battery life, though I did not have a chance to verify this personally.
GRADE: D, though there’s lots of possibilities for improvement.
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