FeedDrop: A new iPhone news reader app just for Japan



There are no shortage of newsreader apps out there these days, especially as the landscape adjusts in the wake of the announcement of Google Reader’s upcoming retirement. Most of our readership will no doubt already be aware of useful reader apps like Reeder, Feedly, Leaf, or even maybe even SlowFeeds. But it’s also interesting to see what kinds of reader apps are emerging here in Japan [1].

We recently featured the news curation app Gunosy which pulls news that you might like by analyzing your social media accounts, and even emailing you interesting stories every morning. It’s a handy service, although it’s currently for the Japanese language only [2].

But today I stumbled across another handy made-in-Japan reader app called FeedDrop. While it’s not as smart as Gunosy, the app is useful in that it comes with a number of pre-made content categories, each of which can be toggled on or off by the user. You can also search for your own content feeds, and this process works surprisingly well, giving you RSS and XML feeds for just about any search you can muster – in English or Japanese (note, I tried it with English ones, see pictures below).

There’s also a ‘read later’ function that allows you to simply tag any article to be sent to your ‘read later’ queue. While this is certainly useful, there isn’t any styling that makes the articles any easier to read within the app, so it’s hard not to just send articles to Pocket each time. However, in terms of integration with applications that typical Japanese users like, FeedDrop excels. Twitter, Facebook, Hatena Bookmarks, Evernote, and Line are all supported, as well as the afore-mentioned Pocket.

But of course, like Gunosy, the app’s interface is in Japanese only, which is disappointing to see [3]. But it’s definitely an app that might be of interest to our readers here in Japan.

I’m curious to hear what news readers you guys are experimenting with these days. If you have any interesting recommendations, particularly anything that might be made in Japan, do let us know in the comments.

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photo 3-1 (copy) photo 1-3 (copy)

  1. Some other Japanese reader apps worth mentioning include Vingow, SmartNews, and Naver Matome Reader.  ↩
  2. The Gunosy app interface looks very much inspired by Reeder, so if you like Reeder, you’ll feel comfortable with this app too.  ↩
  3. I can’t help but recall what Atomico’s Niklas Zennström mentioned back during the Japan New Economy Summit, noting that if you’re in the software business, you might as well be making it for the global market. I think an app like FeedDrop would be welcomed by users outside Japan if it ventured beyond just Japanese.  ↩