Nextgen Reader for Surface RT: My favorite app

Summary:There aren't a lot of apps in the Windows Store for the Surface RT, and not a lot of them in there are very good. This app has quickly become my favorite app for the Surface and for a surprising reason.

Nextgen Reader store
Nextgen Reader

I am still working hard to get the Surface RT to fit into my daily routine, and that includes trying lots of apps in the Windows Store. The selection of apps is not vast and like all app stores many apps available are not very good. 

Colleague Matt Baxter-Reynolds recommended I try Nextgen Reader, an RSS reader app for Windows 8 and am I glad he did. In a very short time this app has become my favorite on the Surface RT.

Nextgen Reader is a client for working with Google Reader RSS feeds, something I spend a lot of time doing each day. It syncs with Google Reader and presents all feeds and news items in a simple interface designed for working with lots of news feeds.

Nextgen Reader
3-pane interface presents lots of information in one screen

Its simple three-pane interface presents all the information you need in one screen: feed list, news item list, and full article pane. Working with feeds is as simple as scrolling down the lists and tapping on articles of interest. All of the standard Google Reader functions are handled by Nextgen Reader with a great touch interface.

The app is well worth the $3.49 price and if you use Google Reader you will want to check out Nextgen Reader.

The longer I use Nextgen Reader the more I realize what I like about it. The display window is very similar to Google Reader clients on other mobile platforms. It presents a lot of useful information in one screen, unlike many Metro/Modern apps in the Windows Store.

That in a nutshell is a problem I have with many Metro apps -- in adopting the admittedly attractive Metro style the usefulness of apps is often lost. So many Metro apps make terrible use of the big Surface display due to the flashy style of the OS. Information density is sacrificed to make apps very Modern, i. e. Metro-like. Many app displays are like vast fields of tiles that don't present much real information to the user.

Having a nice big screen like that of the Surface RT is totally wasted on such apps that don't give me much useful information at a time. I hope developers take notice of this and put the usefulness of apps ahead of the Metro style. Flash without substance is not very useful. Look at the Nextgen Reader screen included in this article and see how it should be done.

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Topics: Apps, Windows

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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