A big lump of coal goes to MobileRSS for blatantly ripping off the design of popular iOS RSS reader app, Reeder, on the week before Christmas. On Tuesday, Silvio Rizzi, developer of Reeder, tweeted out a page with shot for shot comparisons between the two apps. Even Jeff Bridges’ one-eyed US Marshal from True Grit could see what was going on there.
Big ups to the tech community for immediately catching this and getting the word out. Sites such as Daring Fireball and TechCrunch led the charge in exposing MobileRSS’s shady dealings. Popular bookmarking services, ReadItLater and Instapaper, also threw their support behind Reeder by removing MobileRSS from their supported apps lists.
MobileRSS seems to have admitted it was a bad idea in a statement to TechCrunch:
We are submitting an update to MobileRSS immediately which will include modifications to the UI elements that most mimic Reeder. We respect the work that Reeder has done but are most concerned with serving users and improving MobileRSS for everyone. These improvements include ideas pioneered by Reeder, but we have current and upcoming features which are unique to our app not found in other RSS readers.
But to be clear, we’re taking immediate action to correct this and will remove the similarities to Reeder at once.
This is all well and good, but seriously, MobileRSS! You tried a boneheaded maneuver and got caught red-handed. Stop with the nebulous language and just pull your copied app from the iTunes App Store. I’m not sure why Apple hasn’t taken any action yet, but I do know that MobileRSS is probably getting some undeserved sales still from the poor souls who don’t frequent Twitter or tech sites.
That’s probably what Silvio Rizzi is worried about with his comment to TechCrunch:
I think this is just ridiculous. I mean, what were they thinking would happen?
Really, it’s quite simple, they should just do the right thing and remove the app from the store.
And yes, I asked Nibirutech to remove the app, no response of course. Still hoping that Apple will do something about this.
There’s nothing more slimy than trying to rip off someone, getting caught, giving a half-assed “apology” and still refusing to make things right. Shame on you MobileRSS for doing everything against the spirit of the holiday season.
Reeder is bar none the best RSS reader app for iPhone and iPad. If you live on RSS feeds and have an iOS device, you owe it to yourself to get the app.