Put simply: Bacon Reader is a great app for browsing Reddit.
Its well-designed interface is what really sets it apart from the other Reddit apps for Android. The attention to detail is astounding, and welcomed on an app I use so much. The level of thought put into the app has allowed it to make browsing Reddit a much nicer experience than on the reddit.com site itself!
Reddit is a social news site, where members can join different “subreddits” (communities with specific interests or goals) so their content is organized. Bacon Reader itself has its own subreddit which has been quite active and played a massive role in getting Bacon Reader to the quality it is today. The developer actively checks this subreddit and announces changes to the app as well as asking for feedback.
Though BaconReader was only recently released to the Market, it has been in development – and available in alpha – for quite some time, and has built up a lot of fans. In recent weeks, before Bacon Reader was released to the public, its ownership changed from the original developer to OneLouder, a development company with quite a few big hit apps (such as TweetCaster). As a user, I find this slightly worrying, though whether that’s warranted or not we’ll see.
The original developer will be staying onboard to help with the design of the app, though development will be taken over by the OneLouder team. Originally, permission requests used for loading adverts were still in place once the user had bought the premium version; this happened because the premium version was bought in-app. OneLouder has since made a separate premium version of the app, which only requires permission to access the Internet and write to the SD card. You can read more about this discussion here and here. I think they handled it quite well – a lot of users may have be worrying for no reason. (Hopefully!)
The interface is what makes Bacon Reader stand out. Browsing Reddit is a pleasure with this app. I think it’s great to see developers putting in so much effort into the design of their apps; some people believe they should all just use the stock Android look, though I personally appreciate the work put in – and moreso the results, which you can clearly see in Bacon Reader!
However, I must admit, when I was using the free version the advert at the bottom of the screen was annoying, and detracted from the experience: aside from the advert distracting me from what I really wanted to read, I sometimes accidentally clicked on it, which opened the link.
I’d also love to see a dark “night time” theme – but I cant deny Bacon Reader is a brilliantly-designed app even without this (just look at the screenshots).
The goal of Bacon Reader is to allow easy usage of Reddit, while making it an awesome experience, and it does this well. There is some functionality missing that I’d like to see (such as editing of comments, and the aforementioned night theme). Developement is ongoing, and you can view the official to-do list on reddit (of course), though for the most part Bacon Reader can do everything you’d ever need to do on Reddit. The features missing are minor, though hopefully on the way.
The developers have not gone overboard with the settings: each is useful, and perhaps even necessary.
For instance, you can opt to automatically open links in your choice of browser, rather than the app’s built-in one. I’m glad to see this, as I only ever want to read web pages in my own choice of browser, and I don’t feel that other apps should waste their time and effort trying to improve their in-app browsers rather than other features. (Although, there’s no reason to worry here; in Bacon Reader the in-app browser is as top-notch as the rest of the app!)
Bacon Reader is a brilliant-looking app, with a well thought-out and clearly thoroughly-tested design. Browsing reddit has become a lot more appealing on my phone since I started using this app; more so even than browsing reddit on my laptop or desktop. When an app makes browsing a site more appealing than using the web version, the main version of the site – well, that’s saying something!
The value to you of buying or even using Bacon Reader really depends on how much you use reddit itself. If you only go on every once in a while then it might not be worth an install as you’d be just as well off using the site. But if you’re an avid redditor, I highly recommend using Bacon Reader.
BaconReader is an intuitive, beautiful, feature-packed client for reddit, made specifically for Android users.9