Reddit has never had a first party mobile client, which makes a lot of sense for its open, user-first philosophy. Because of that, the website has had a healthy amount of third party apps that attempt to recreate the Reddit experience on mobile. Many have done a good job including all of the features of Reddit, but a new app called Feedworthy takes a completely different approach.
The most striking thing about Feedworthy is the user interface, which puts a huge focus on contextual gestures and clean white backgrounds. The aesthetic of Reddit hasn’t changed much since its creation, which makes the ultra-modern design of Feedworthy that much more noteworthy.
When you start up Feedworthy, it presents browsing Reddit as the primary function of the app. Swiping to the right gives you panels of the popular subreddits, starting with the Front Page and then proceeding in simple alphabetical order. It shows you the most popular post in each subreddit, making quickly browsing through your favorites easier than ever before.
A horizontal swipe just beneath the panels lets you do a fast scroll so that moving down the list doesn’t take forever. Tapping on a panel opens up the subreddit, as well as swiping up on the panel you want to see. Meanwhile, a quick pulldown will bring up the search function and pull up will give you access to some basic settings. While the fast scroll is a nice feature, I would have loved to been able to reorder my subreddits according to my own preference rather than have to swipe through them alphabetically.
Once you are viewing the feed of a particular subreddit, a quick swipe to the right or left will move you down the alphabetical list of subreddits. All of this makes a ton of sense for the Reddit user who has a tight control of what subreddits they subscribe to. The only downside is that you have to scroll all the way up to the top to exit back into the panel view of subreddits, which can get a little annoying once you are far down the feed.
This main panel view takes a lot of influence app from an app called Paper, which was Facebook’s attempt at reimagining its social network in a creative way. While continued support and development for the beautiful app was ultimately stopped, the influence on mobile app design can clearly be seen in Feedworthy. In many ways, the full-screen view of posts make a lot more sense in Reddit than it did in Facebook. Feedworthy does a particularly great job of displaying photos and gifs, which are obviously a big part of Reddit. The fact that gifs automatically play without requiring a tap alone makes Feedworthy worth a download.
Another thing that Feedworthy handles in a particularly beautiful way are individual posts and comments. Comments can be collapsed with a double tap and include the user’s profile picture or initials in true iOS 7 form. Everything is spaced at nicely and it’s obvious that the developers took the time to pay attention to the details of how information is displayed.
However, Feedworthy doesn’t give you any access to all of the features of Reddit. Most notably, you can’t view direct messages, get notifications of when other people reply to your posts, or even comment on posts. The developers have noted that commenting will be coming in a following update, but it seems like a pretty standard feature to have been included in the launch. You can subscribe and unsubscribe to subreddits by searching for them in the pulldown search function, but it feels like a pretty clumsy way of managing your feeds, especially with all the unused white space on the main subreddit view. There is also no way to view a full list of subreddits or to discover new subreddits, which would have made a lot of sense in an app that was made for browsing Reddit.
Overall, Feedworthy hasn’t gotten everything right with a mobile Reddit experience at launch. There are some key features missing, some odd choices in functionality, and a general lack of customization. However, it is without a doubt the most beautiful and intuitive way of browsing Reddit yet. Other clients will give you the full Reddit functionality, but no other app makes reading and browsing the random crap you find more enjoyable. With a few big updates, Feedworthy might someday be the definitive Reddit mobile experience. Until then, it’s a nice companion to more established apps like Redd or Alien Blue.
Feedworthy is an iOS app that can be downloaded for free in the iTunes App Store.