There are hundreds of ways to keep up with news; Twitter, Reddit, RSS, Newsletters, and whatnot. The demise of Google Reader certainly opened and enriched this particular niche and new apps and services are still developed to this day. Pilot Reader is an iOS and Android app that caters to people interested in technology news. The app is free and very Tinder-like in its functionality. Not only does it curate technology news but it also learns to recognize what you like and save, to give you more relevant news. Like Tinder, you can swipe an item right to save it, and left to dismiss it.
Pilot Reader presents news items one at a time. If an article seems interesting to you, simply swipe right to save it. An on-screen animation indicates that an article has been saved. If the article doesn’t interest you, and you would like to read something else, simply swipe left to dismiss it. A new article will take its place.
To read an article you like, tap it and it opens in Pilot Reader’s built-in browser. An article can be shared via email and Twitter, or it can be sent to Pocket, if you have the app installed. To see all saved articles, go to the app’s home screen and tap the bookmark button at the top right.
All saved items can be exported via email or Pocket. You can edit the saved items and remove the ones you’ve read. Each item appears with a thumbnail lifted from the article itself, and its title. There is no indication of whether or not an article has been read or not. Likewise, there is no way to mark items as read or unread.
The number one flaw with the app is actually with its Android version which we tested on a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.4. It crashed every single time to the point where we were considering not reviewing this app at all. Fortunately, the iOS app works really well and didn’t crash once. It’s optimized and we have no complaints about it.
Pilot Reader doesn’t require you to sign up to any service, but it also doesn’t let you add or remove the new sources meaning this isn’t a good RSS reader replacement. Overall, I like how the app uses Tinder’s swipe gestures to make dismissing and/or saving articles easier.