iPad is already heralding a new era for the RSS technology, offering more visual, user-friendly way to subscribe to and read a bunch of feeds. Just check out the excellent Reeder app for one example. Now it has competition in the form of Blogshelf, which reckons itself to be an “iPad Reader for the rest of us”.
The developer has clearly been paying attention to Apple’s own iBooks app, since Blogshelf adopts the same homescreen interface of a virtual set of shelves. You can sign up for up to 90 blogs or feed sources, which are then presented visually as virtual books on the shelves.
The app includes iBooks-style settings such as a contrast setting for reading in low lighting conditions, and the ability to tweak the font sizes to suit your eyes. It also supports offline reading. Actually reading the blogs uses swiping gestures, and power features include translation functionality and Google-powered search.
Just as importantly, Blogshelf has a built-in directory of hundreds of blogs sorted by topic, allowing new users to start compiling their collection without needing to dig around for RSS feed addresses. RSS veterans may prefer Reeder (or NewsRack for the purists), but Blogshelf looks like a good bet for non-geeks looking to make the most of their iPad.
Then again, with Apple having added PDF support to the actual iBooks app, how long can it be until the company introduces blogs too?