TechWire in Review – An App for your Tech Blog Addiction

I watch a lot of technical blogs to get different perspectives on interesting news and for the occasional gems I find there. I don’t have time, however, to read or even scan them all every day and sometimes won’t browse through some of them for weeks. They’re just handy to have around.

The downside is that they clog up my newsreader and slow things down while waiting for refreshes. I don’t want to unsubscribe and lose them, so what do I do?

Enter TechWire, a free app that collects many of the most popular technical blogs in one place!

I’m a big fan of Reeder, the preeminent Google Reader client for iDevices (TMA Review). I use it several times a day to keep up with the latest breaking news on my favorite topics. Like many, I have a tendency to sign up for too many RSS feeds and then have to suffer waiting for them all to update whenever I refresh the feeds. The more feeds I have, the longer it takes to update, especially on a 3G (or worse, Edge) connection.

TechWire fits in well with to handle this and most of the tech blogs I follow are available through the app. Current blogs include:

  • Techcrunch
  • BGR
  • Gizmodo
  • Engadget
  • Mashable
  • Lifehacker
  • Wired Top News
  • ARS Technica
  • Pocket Lint
  • Boing Boing
  • Read Write Web
  • MobileCrunch

It’s easy to scan through the articles in each blog. It loads them when the blog is selected from the list (instead of articles from all blogs at once), so wait time is usually short. TechWire only grabs the last few days of articles, so it’s not the best for catching up on things over a long period of time - which is usually not a problem if you only want to see what’s been happening lately.

It is possible to send references to articles via e-mail, tweets and posts to your Facebook wall directly from the app. TechWire seems to support abilities like Comment (post to?) and Heart (like?) an article, but the functionality doesn’t appear to be working yet in this first release. An interface to Instapaper would also be nice to save articles for later reading, especially since they only remain in TechWire for a few days.

The user interface is identical between the iPhone and iPad other than screen space. One issue that could be a problem for some is that articles you’ve read are not marked in any way.

Reading full articles can be done via the built-in web browser with the expected zoom and hyperlink functionality; plus forward/back controls are available to navigate within the browser.

Summay

As a first release, this app really shows promise and will definitely find a spot on my iPhone and iPad. If you’re interested in having these technical blogs available to you on your iDevice, but don’t want to load down your newsreader with all their articles, then check out TechWire. If the list of supported blogs is missing one of your favorites, let the developer know and it might get added in the next release!

Grab It - 4/5

App Summary
Title: TechWireDeveloper: Connor Zwick
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.1
Price:FreeApp Size:Size: 3.5 MB
  • Pleasing user interface without ads.
  • Summary and detail available in-app for all articles.
  • No requirement to sign up for RSS feeds.
  • E-mail, Twitter and Facebook integration.
  • No way to see posts already read.
  • Articles are only available for a few days.
  • Some (non-essential) functionality doesn’t seem to work yet.

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