Really simple reader

You won't find bells or whistles here, but if it's reliable functionality you're after, RSS Runner will do the trick.

Bells and whistles it has not. RSS Runner is your regular freeware RSS Reader that delivers news headlines and images from your subscription Web sites, with duty, but not an overabundance of panache. Don't get us wrong: the reader is pleasant-looking, recording the number of stories within each feed within a puffy, light blue cloud. The effect, however, is somewhat marred by the disjointed text formatting on the reading screen.

In terms of practicality, RSS Runner has the basics covered, with syncing support for Google Reader and OMPL files (via a URL). You can also search or add a direct link, but you won't find any libraries or suggestions apart from the few that are loaded in by default. Here's a peeve: when importing Google Reader feeds for the first time, RSS Runner reloaded stories that were previously marked read from a desktop reader. Premium competitors, like Newsstand, identified previously read feeds. Luckily, this app lets you bulk-mark feeds as read.

Additional activities include e-mailing a URL to a contact and visiting the original blog post in the iPhone's Safari browser. While the app has a few tweakable settings, it lacks push notification and extras that premium rivals have, like libraries for discovering new and cool blog feeds and the ability to post feeds on social networks. However, if it's reliable functionality you're after, RSS Runner will do the trick.

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