At the moment, browsing Reddit on your Android device can only be achieved by using your web browser or installing a third-party application like Sync (my personal favorite), Now, Baconreader etc. However the wait is almost over as the Reddit team is about to drop their official app for Android – we got a chance to try out the closed Reddit beta.
There is already definitely plenty of choice of third party apps – with each application having a good amount of features you’ll definitely love. Things like night mode and custom themes are extremely popular to help completely customize your Reddit experience. Still the scene definitely lacked an official app, a stock client that everyone can install by default before having to look for third party apps.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the Reddit beta version 0.1.2 of the official Android app.
Reddit Beta Login and first steps
When you first open the app, you’ll be greeted by a nice Snoo splash screen with a playful background, giving you the classic choice between sign up or log in. Since you most definitely have a reddit account, let’s type our username & password and log in already!
The Reddit beta layout is quite simple. Features material-ish cards, karma scores, a link to open the comments page and small buttons for upvoting or being the downvote fairy.
After a couple minutes, I can say that I find this extremely annoying: the Reddit beta up/downvote buttons are so tiny that it’s really hard to tap the right one. Several times I ended up tapping the wrong one multiple times to the point I wasn’t interested anymore in voting the post.
Another thing I didn’t like much in Reddit beta is how clicking on images will always open the link directly in the built-in browser. It’s ok for actual links to articles etc but for images you have to load the whole imgur website instead of just showing the image straight away.
However, a nice addition is the option to enable compact mode, which will show every post in a single line without expanding the image contained in the link. Comment threads are also well organized, so it’s quite fast to see what people are talking about and tracking child/parent comments with relative ease.
In the bottom right you will also find the classic FAB (floating action button) which will let you post an image/link/text straight away. Props to the Reddit team for following the material design guidelines in this Reddit beta!
Inbox and Account info
Top right you’ll find a handy search button to quickly browse for all those dank memes, while a little mail shortcut will take you straight to your inbox where messages, comments and mod mail will be found.
Somehow text for each entry is light grey on white, so not readable at all, but since we’re talking of a Reddit beta release I’ll turn a blind eye for now and hope its fixed. There is no mention of push notifications, and since I haven’t been that active recently I’m not sure if they are there or if the option to turn them on is missing completely. From the inbox you also have access to your profile information, like karma, reddit age, and anything else tied to your account.
For now, this section in Reddit beta is quite bare bones. Besides a couple switches and options it’s definitely not even close to any of the aforementioned third party apps, which offer a wider array of features and option to choose from.
Tapping on the orange snoo icon on the top left, you’ll be greeted by folders which will contain your frontpage, popular subreddits, the subreddits you subscribed to and the one you’re currently moderating.
In my opinion, Reddit is doing a good job at developing this app. It is smooth, seems to work ok for the most part and seems like the beginnings of a pretty good stock client for browsing Reddit from your Android device. Just keep in mind this is a beta, so things can only get better, more stable and polished.
Either way, I seriously hope they will not close their API and make other third party apps unusable. Having a choice is what is at Android heart and competition is always good. Being able to switch from the main client to, let’s say, Sync without having to sacrifice features like push notifications is something I wouldn’t want to experience.
What is your favourite Reddit app now? Will you make the switch to the stock client when it officially releases, or stick to your app of choice? Let us know by dropping a comment in the section below!