The range of social RSS Readers for Android tablets is pretty extensive and the competition is fierce. ChannelCaster is a new attempt to fuse several different sources of content into one handy stream. For the most part, this is an extremely good app let down slightly by an overly complicated layout.
ChannelCaster is almost the complete opposite of RSS apps like Taptu
since its homepage doesn't actually contain any content, just links to its different content channels. This seems a bit of a shame since we liked the instantaneous vibe of these aforementioned apps but if you can live with that, there's our major criticism of this app dispatched. The rest is immensely impressive.
By the rest we basically mean the ability to create your own content channels. Rather than allowing you to create a feed from just one news outlet, ChannelCaster lets you chuck pretty much everything you can imagine into a topical feed. This includes, YouTube channels, Twitter streams, topic searches, Flickr feeds and, of course, RSS feeds. This makes for a much more comprehensive and customisable browsing experience than we'd ever really experienced. A leap forward for RSS reader apps.
The other fantastic thing about ChannelCaster is its presentation. Each link is accessed via a picture panel with the picture drawn from the corresponding news story. Even better, stories are weighted in landscape and portrait mode according to the most recent stream addition. To read the stories themselves you'll have to use a relevant web browser or YouTube app but that's not as much of a hassle as you'd think, since returning back to the app is extremely straight forward.
Such is the quality of social RSS readers for Android, it's difficult to pick out a particular winner. Each tends to have a particular USP and certain flaws that stop it from standing head and shoulders above the rest. Still, ChannelCaster should be congratulated for standing up to the competition and, in some cases, getting the better of its rivals.
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The Bottom Line
A near prefect social RSS reader, so close to flawless.
Version reviewed 188.8.131.52
Requires Android 2.0 or higher
from the Android Market.
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