It’s been more than half a year now since I “sunset” my Google account. The last thing I was using it for was Google Reader, admittedly the motherlode of RSS consumption on the Internet. However, for various reasons I felt more and more uncomfortable with it and eventually switched to fever, created by Shaun Inman, which every buyer is supposed to host themselves.
The RSS experience is great; fever comes with a “feedlet” that makes subscribing to new feeds a real breeze. I also like the idea of the very basic grouping of feeds into “kindling” and “sparks”. I rarely use the “hot” category but from time to time it is worth visiting.
My only possible gripe is about the visual rendering in the browser. Here, I can see a lot of room for improvements.
On my Mac, there is plenty of room for injecting CSS into the page rendering to improve the result to the point of being very nice. CSS injector plugins are available for every major browser on this planet and the possibilities are endless. I, at least, am very pleased with the result of tweaks applied to the visual appearance on OS X.
On the iPhone, Sunstroke makes fever shine. Sunstroke is a lot better than the fever support delivered by Reeder1. That leaves the iPad as the only platform for which I was not really successful in finding an acceptable way to read my RSS feeds.
As far as I know, there is no way to inject CSS into the page rendering in mobile Safari. Native clients are, as far as I am aware, not available. I have found leads to an app named Ashes, however, it seems that the app was discontinued before I could put my hand on it.
(Source: niepi’s Github page)
Despite the undeniably better reading experience there is still much room left for improvement. For example, the font size is so small that (I guess) only the very existence of the retina display saves it from becoming totally unreadable.
This is sad and I believe that a native client on the iPad would dramatically improve the reading and navigation experience. However, it does not seem as if any developer was willing to invest the time into creating and maintaining a suitable fever client.
Dunno, maybe people are scared away because the applicable API is officially labeled as a “public beta”. This, in combination with the economical facts that the number of potential customers is certainly limited, may be the key factor that drives people away from putting some effort into a fever client for iPad.
Let’s face it, the number of potential customers is probably in the same region as the number of potential customers for an app.net client. And it seems that, even with the support of the developer incentive program, developers are not really queueing to jump to provide ADN clients. But, anyway, that is an entirely different story.
The bottom line is that I’m still desperately seeking for a native fever client on the iPad and I’d totally appreciate any lead.