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There are many RSS readers on the App Store, and Silvio Rizzi’s Reeder is widely considered one of the best. So imagine the developer’s surprise when a recent update to competitor MobileRSS not only aped his slick interface design, but practically stole it outright.
TechCrunch is reporting that Reeder developer Silvio Rizzi is crying foul over his iPad user interface design being blatantly copied by one of his App Store competitors, MobileRSS. Rather than sit back and take it, Rizzi created a web page showing screenshots from both apps side by side (some of which can be seen here, with Reeder at left and MobileRSS at right), which has created a surge of support from users and other developers alike.
We were among those who immediately noticed the similarities after applying a MobileRSS HD update this week and trying it out -- anyone who has used Reeder would say that the apps bear far more than a striking resemblance to each other, and probably step over the line of a flat-out ripoff.
As it turns out, Rizzi’s fellow developers were quick to come to his support. Both Read It Later and Instapaper quickly pulled MobileRSS’s API key as a show of support over the issue, and the copycat was publicly called out in numerous Twitter posts and news blogs.
Apparently, the developers of MobileRSS have been shamed into action -- they now plan to remove the similarities to Reeder and have issued a public statement which isn’t so much admitting guilt as it is trying to make the situation go away.
“We are submitting an update to MobileRSS immediately which will include modifications to the UI elements that most mimic Reeder,” the developers responded. “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,” the statement concludes. However, with the App Store frozen to updates and new submissions until next Wednesday, it may take a bit longer for MobileRSS to right this ship.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Images courtesy of TechCrunch and Silvio Rizzi)