Alien Blue has landed for iPad | The Download Blog - CNET Download.com

Alien Blue has landed for iPad

If you're someone who regularly reads Reddit, this unofficial iPad reader for the popular social site might be the best there is.

Alien Blue HD (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Do you read Reddit? Reddit is a user-powered information aggregator--everything from funny links and pictures to programming advice and politics can be found in the many subcategories or "subreddits." The last I heard there were over 50,000 subreddits, so if there's something you're interested in (old-school video games, black-and-white photography, underwater basket weaving, etc.), chances are there's a subreddit and community for your interests.

You access Reddit mostly via your favorite Web browser, but a couple of apps have surfaced for the iPhone and other devices that make browsing the popular link site even better. The latest (and possibly greatest) is brand-new today for iPad and it might be the best way to browse Reddit stories and comments available--even better than your desktop browser.

Alien Blue HD

Seek out and subscribe to various subreddits on the left. View links and stories on the right.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Alien Blue HD for iPad (an unofficial third-party Reddit client) cleverly organizes the site a little bit like an RSS reader would. You have navigation on the left with stories and links on the right. After you register with the site by creating a username and entering an e-mail address, your left navigation pane lets you subscribe to subreddits (topics that will show up on your front page), manage your comments and submissions, and submit stories of your own. When you click on a link in the main viewing window on the right, the interface shifts to the left, so you now can browse stories on the left while reading comments for the stories on the right.

Don't be afraid to read the comments, either. While you'll get more than your share of jokes, Internet memes, and snarky comments (and certainly plenty of adult-only commentary), the Reddit community will often surprise you with thoughtful discussions about the hottest news topics of the day. Probably the best advice for entering this online community is simply to keep an open mind and soon you'll be just as hooked as I am (yes, it should be obvious by now that I'm what's known as a "Redditor").

Blue Alien for iPad costs $3.99, which might be a little steep, but if you're a Reddit fan you'll quickly see the advantages of split-screen browsing and the highly intuitive interface.

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