Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve heard of reddit - a social news site that thrives on user generated content and conversations. “redditors” submit links, images or simply text messages on subsets of the site called sub-reddits, and earn points based on how many up or down votes the story gets. The conversations on reddit are probably some of the best on the web and are the reason the site has millions of users completely hooked.
Although reddit clients were a little slow coming to Android – I struggled to find a few good ones just last year – the scenario is quite the opposite now and one is spoilt for choice when it comes to getting the reddit dose on an Android phone or tablet. Here’s my list of some of the best reddit clients on Android, and although all of these apps are free and mostly ad-supported, I’ve included links to their pro versions whenever available.
BaconReader is one of the best known and oldest reddit clients out there. Coming from OneLouder Apps — makers of gems like Friendcaster, 1Weather, Slices and more — it is one of the better looking apps in this list. Features include a clean, minimalistic UI, full user profile support, image previews and more. If you are into the awesome conversations on reddit, BaconReader’s color coded comments interface is by far the best of the lot and the biggest reason loyalists stick to it in spite of the ever increasing competition from newer full-featured clients.
Up until very recently, Reddit News was my reddit client of choice for a variety of reasons. With an extremely sleek looking interface, the app offered everything I needed from a reddit client, but the killer blow was the brilliant use of gestures. Swiping a story in the list to the left brings up an actions panel that lets you vote it up or down, view comments, etc. Once you are reading a story, the actual article and the comments are loaded simultaneously. Simply swipe the bottom bar up or down to toggle between the story and the comments — which is reminiscent of the Google+ app behavior. I also like how the app handles image previews as popups right from the list. If you’re looking for a feature-packed reddit client, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Although the reddit is fun app has a perfectly serviceable phone interface, the app is better known for it’s tablet UI, which makes it super easy to browse through your list and quickly glance through the story details and comments with a dual pane interface. The app listing on the Play Store is low on details, but the app is pretty well rounded and has a dedicated community of loyal users that swear by it. The key highlight for me is the tabbed interface that lets you switch between sections of any list by swiping left or right. There’s also a darker theme for those who prefer reading with white text on black.
As I mentioned before, Reddit News was my reddit client of choice on Android for a long time. That is until I got my hands on Reddit Sync. This one is a pretty new app but has been getting a lot of buzz lately from the reddit community, and not without reason. The Holo inspired interface is absolutely top notch with clean UI elements and swipeable tabs to browse across different reddits that you subscribe to. The one feature that sets this one apart is the icons next to each story which let you know what kind the post is — link, text, image — at a glance. Image previews work flawlessly, so does all other reddit functionality like voting and comments. I particularly like the comment threading, which does a fine job of striking a balance between too much and too little indentation for replies.
Another fairly new reddit client, Reddit ET takes the now familiar Holo inspired approach for the interface, with a special focus on big, chunky image previews and the ability to view images in true full screen. This should be of particular interest to those who come to reddit mostly for the pictures. The app also comes with a nice widget that lets you preview new stories and scroll through recent ones right from your home screen. Then there’s a plethora of options to customize how everything looks and behaves, if you like personalizing things to suit your style.
Finally, Reddita is a tablet focused reddit client that takes full advantage of the extra space available on the bigger devices to cram in as much content and as many features as it can. Use the familiar two-pane interface to select from your list of sub-reddits, or preview stories and conversations, or browse through your profile. With its last update sometime in March this year, the app doesn’t look like it is in very active development, but the interface is serviceable if you are on a tablet. Plus, it’s free, so there’s no reason why you can’t try it out to see if it fits your needs.
If your usage of Reddit mostly revolves around images — be it the funny pictures that seem to always have votes in the thousands, or the NSFW ones — Pix-o-Reddit is worth a look. The app is a reddit client that maintains focus on the visual side of things. You can view images in full screen, pinch to zoom and set any image as a wallpaper right from inside the app. You can vote an image or a story up or down, but commenting is completely missing. It takes you over to a browser to even read comments, which I found extremely annoying.
Reddit in Pictures is another client for images on reddit that takes the cake when it comes to simplicity. All you get is a slideshow of images from the reddit frontpage or a subreddit of your choice, one image at a time in slideshow format. Swipe left to see the next image or change the sort order, and that’s about it. You can’t even vote the image, read comments on an image or do anything other than zoom in or out of it. There’s an icon that will open the reddit page in a browser if you wish to do anything more with it. The app is what they call ‘rateware’, meaning you can disable the ads simply by saying you will rate it on the Play Store.
Finally, if you are the kind that loves to keep everything at an arm’s length on the home screen of your device — read: widget aficionado — redditastic may be your thing. This is a surprisingly full-featured widget that lets you read through stories on reddit, log into your reddit profile or even combine multiple subreddits into a single stream so you can keep up with everything you want right from one home screen. You can choose between a light or a dark theme and customize what happens when you tap a story in the list.
This is in no way a comprehensive list of Reddit apps on the Play Store. The choice is huge and every app has something different to suit users who tend to use reddit in so many different ways. For me, these were some of the most noteworthy ones, but if you use an app that is not featured here but should have been, let me know in the comments.