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Reddit Official App: Trending News and Hot Topics for iOS

By reddit Free Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

shelbybrown Apr 6, 2018

While Reddit has grown to be one of the biggest sites on the Internet, it didn't have its own mobile app until 2014, which was just an acquisition of Alien Blue, one of the many third-party apps that blossomed in this little cottage industry. Reddit eventually replaced it with an official branded app of its own in April 2016, and it was pretty rough around the edges. Let's take a look at how Reddit: The Official App has evolved in the two years since. Does it finally stack up against the established pros like Reddit is Fun (RIF), or recent up-and-comers like Apollo?

Pros

It's better than the mobile site: Unlike the mobile site, the app's dark theme uses gradients instead of pure black backgrounds, the latter of which can actually cause eyestrain when combined with white text. The app also scales much better on a phone-size screen. You can also create a shortlist of favorite subreddits as a subset of those you're subscribed to, which lets you optimize your experience according to what device you're viewing Reddit on. However, the mobile site does not set a high bar, and the company itself encourages users to use its official app instead.

Cons

Minimal customization: Unfortunately, the official app is missing a number of popular features that its competition has. It doesn't let you adjust text size for better legibility or higher information density. You can't filter out particular keywords or subreddits. You can't access the site preferences that are available in the web browser version of Reddit. You can't tell the app to only load thumbnails and hi-res images when you're on Wi-Fi. You can't change your homepage to a specific subreddit or multireddit. And you can't reset your browsing history, delete your draft comments, or unsubscribe from all your subreddits at once.

You can get all of the aforementioned features in Reddit is Fun (RIF), and none of them in the official app. (Unfortunately, RIF is Android-only, but Apollo is a great alternative for iOS users). They're not all critical, but it's disappointing to be missing something as useful as text size adjustment, especially since Reddit has had two years to improve its app, and its text and image spacing leaves something to be desired. Which leads us to our next point...

Use of visual space needs work: Granted, RIF looks utilitarian by the standards of most Reddit apps, but it can also present about twice as many submissions on the screen because of its cleverer use of the available space (text size is just part of it). Boost for Reddit can do the same with a few tweaks to its settings, and both Boost and RIF are hugely popular. Coincidence? Meanwhile, browsing with the official app feels very "zoomed in," with a lot more scrolling necessary to see the same amount of content. Even when viewed in Compact mode, the official app ends up with a lot of unused white space between submissions when the submission title is short, because the thumbnails are relatively large.

Subreddit header images can also inadvertently hide the menu button that lets you access the sidebar, where important community info, links, and rules are usually placed. When you tap on a submission, you get a horizontal row of icons showing you the upvote and downvote function, a share button, and a conversation bubble with a number next to it. The thing is, tapping on the bubble doesn't do anything. It seems like a good opportunity to provide a comment sorting tool or a reply function, but it's resolutely static. Speaking of replies...

Comment reply function is pretty basic: While competing Reddit apps usually offer formatting and URL tools -- italics, bold text, bullet points, HTML, links to other websites, et cetera -- these functions are curiously absent in the official app. You're not even given a button to paste the text of the comment that you're responding to. As a result, the official app discourages conversations and emphasizes passive browsing instead. As the Reddit community often likes to say, "The real life protip is always in the comments," but the app's limited engagement tools get in the way of that.

Bottom Line

While the official app is definitely a step up from the mobile website, RIF, Boost, and Apollo remain well ahead in both functionality and visual design.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 3.6.0

- Geo-filters for the Popular feed! You can now view the Popular tab based on your location

- Subreddit recommendations now include the ability to Subscribe or Hide, and improved snap scrolling

- Ad reporting: Help us keep ad quality high by reporting bad ads

- Snoo to Refresh: when you are at the top of Home or Popular, double-tap snoo to refresh; single-tap will still scroll you to the top of the feed

- Lots of bug fixes, especially for Reddit-hosted video

General

Release October 9, 2017
Date Added October 9, 2017
Version 3.6.0

Operating Systems

Operating Systems iOS
Additional Requirements Compatible with: iPad2Wifi, iPad23G, iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini, iPadMini4G, iPhone5c, iPhone5s, iPadAir, iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6, iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro, iPadProCellular, iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE, iPhone7, iPhone7Plus, iPad611, iPad612, iPad71, iPad72, iPad73, iPad74

Popularity

Total Downloads 115
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

Get the official Reddit app to discover all the top trending topics, breaking news, viral videos, funny jokes and hot memes. The freshest content on the internet brought to you in one app, with infinite scroll, autoplay GIFs, and the fastest-loading interface of any Reddit app. Thousands of Communities =. Looking for news? Check out r/news. Need some funny jokes? Head on to /r/Jokes/ and pack a spare pair of dry pants. Or maybe you're passionate about cats being scared by cucumbers. We are too, at r/CucumbersscaringCats. There's a subreddit for anyone (and everyone) to share, vote and discuss just every topic imaginably.

Your Personal Content Democracy . You can post it, you can share it, and you decide what is hot or not by upvoting and downvoting content. Get the socially curated, constantly updated feed of the news, fun stories, pics, and videos that interest YOU. Or what interests millions of other users on r/popular. Unlike other social networks, on Reddit you can be yourself with your Reddit profile and persona, disconnected from your real-world identity. So your mom won't know you're into /r/knitting. Un-bore Yourself =. Tired of mildly interesting content and monotonous updates on social media feeds? Find the stories and conversations that matter to you. From entertainment news and politics to fun DIY projects and cats (lots of cats) - create your own feed of subreddit subscriptions to never be bored again.