When it comes to the RSS feed app wars, at this point if you are going to win people over, you have to be willing to do something different. Not radically different, but something that will make you stand out. Whenever I come across a new Google Reader app, I ask myself, “What does this app do that I cannot already do in Google Reader?”
In the case of Nextly, they definitely present you with a different experience all together. Unlike other RSS reader apps, they take a slightly different route that is somewhat interesting and could actually catch on. One feature that they do to stand out from the others is that they incorporate the use of the keyboard into the reading experience. Sound intriguing? Let’s explore more of this app and see what it has in store for us.
Setting It Up
When you first start to use Nextly, you have to be able to sign in with either a Twitter or Facebook account. At this point there is no option to just sign up for the service, which hopefully that changes in the future. As far as adding content to read, you basically search for it through their site. They have a wide selection of topics to choose from where you can find feeds that you are interested in reading. You can also search for a specific site that you want to read and then add it to Nextly.
When you find sites that you are interested in keeping on the app, you can click on the star and it will add it to your favorite streams on the site. I was able to find every news site that I have in my Google Reader feed on Nextly so I had no problem there. At the moment there is not import feature where I can pull in all of my feeds from Reader. You can also get your Twitter and Facebook feeds imported into the app to read there.
Reading Your News
When you click on a stream, as it is called in Nextly, you will be presented with all of the news headlines on the top and the actual article filling up most of the rest of the page. You can move from one article to the next just by using your arrow keys on your keyboard. This is a nice feature to have because it is faster to be able to go through articles if I just want to glance at them. There are other keyboard shortcuts that you can use for your social networks if you decide to read them there.
Articles that you read can be shared to your Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as emailed to someone. You can also save articles for later by using Nextly’s bookmarking feature. Items can be tagged so that they can easily be found later by using the bookmark search function.
Different, But Not Convinced
As with most RSS feed reader apps that I try out, I try to use them for a few days to make sure that I can get the proper feel and understanding of their features. After using Nextly now for the last 72 hours, I still cannot make up my mind on whether I like their layout and concept, or if I prefer something more “traditional” like Google Reader’s layout. On the one hand, I do like that I can navigate through my feeds with just a keyboard, that is nice to have and I actually wish this was done more with other apps.
On the other hand, I am not sure if I like the layout of Nextly. For one, I wish there was a unified stream where I could get all of my news feeds into one stream so I can go through them all at once. Secondly, I am not the hugest fan of getting the actual website view of an article because so many sites now days have so much clutter that it takes away from the reading experience. Part of the reason why I use a RSS feed reader app is so that I don’t have to see all the clutter that surrounds an article, I just get to read it and move on.
Overall, I don’t know if Nextly is for me, but at the same time, that is not to say that it won’t appeal to other people who want something like this. I do have to say that it is super fast at loading web page content and I could easily move from one article to the next and not feel any lag time. I wish there was a bookmarking feature so that only the items that I haven’t read are uploaded to the stream so it stays current.
As much as this is not for me, I do like the features that they do have and I have to give them kudos for giving us a fast, easy to use web app. I definitely think that Nextly is for the casual news reader who wants to keep up with their news and their social feeds. For you die hard Google Reader, tech nerds, this one may not be for you. That is not to say that it is a knock against Nextly, they just may be targeting a different market, and in the end, that isn’t a bad thing.
Stay up to date on the news and what is happening around the world as well as stay on top of your Twitter and Facebook feeds with Nextly.7
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