Flitter! An Aggregator That Doesn’t Flop

Price: $1.99    Score: 8/10   By Jose Ralat MaldonadoFlitter!

Flitter! is a news aggregator for your favorite RSS and Twitter feeds and Web sites. Unlike other oft Google Reader-specific readers, this application allows you to pull from across the Internet. Want to keep abreast of all your fanboy sites in one place? Want to follow your favorite foodie site? Want to follow the updates of your favorite micro-blog or news organization? Flitter! does that, in one place.

The main screen is a straight-forward list with the name of each feed and the respective icon, which are customizable. Users can select the Web site’s icon or choose from more than 25 Flitter! default images. The built-in icons include such whimsical images as a coffee cup, an 8 ball, a hammer and a heart.

It seems de rigueur that all iPhone applications and Web sites have a share function. Flitter! is no exception. However, If you’re exasperated by the unruliness of other social-media client apps, Flitter! is highly recommended. When you’re exhausted of scrolling through lists ad nauseum of Twitter updates, turn to Flitter!. In the app, you can follow your Twitter peers, leaving the remainder of the 1,452 people you’re following on other clients.

There are a few methods to adding a feed. Manually type the Web URL, Feed URL or Twitter username into the Feed-O-Matic field, click Verify and wait and see. Dyerware, the developer, does admit, “It’s not perfect,” but in my marathon attempt to break the system, I only came up lacking once. Users can also import RSS feeds and bookmarks (e.g., from Firefox), including from their friends. As the developer emphatically states, any RSS reader or web browser that exports OPML (outline processor markup language) file format can be used as a source of feeds.

The app also includes parental controls, for those users with tech-savy little ones. This is especially useful for those with tastes that skew blue (the app requires users be at least 17 years of age).

Among the other solid features, sharing and otherwise, is legible text. This frees the user from the pinching and tapping and all the carpal tunnel-inducing digit calisthenics the iPhone can require.

Other elements include:

  • Full in-app search of all downloaded articles and tweets.
  • Share your RSS feed list with other Flitter! users.
  • Full landscape and portrait orientations for reading and searching.

My biggest gripe is that the interface is initially confusing. Nevertheless, once you get the hang of it, up-to-the-minute feeds are your oyster.

The take-away here is customization, a customization free-for-all. When so many reader apps are rigid in scope, Flitter! gives the user what he/she wants. Flitter! certainly doesn’t flop.

Flitter! is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

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