Since the beginning of time – or at least the founding of Reddit – mobile users have been forced to browse their favorite subreddits using third party applications like Reddit Is Fun and Bacon Reader. There was a fair amount of excitement when the company announced that they would be developing their own in-house app, but once they began their closed beta testing, some members of the testing group reported some lackluster performance. But that was beta, and this is now, because today Reddit is releasing their first ever official mobile app.
Honestly, we’re seeing a lot of things that we really like here. Many of the complaints that the original beta testers were experiencing have been addressed with aplomb, and the scrolling feels snappy and intuitive. One of the most interesting additions that the dev team has added is a moveable scroll-to-next-top-level-comment button, which lets you place this oft-needed tool wherever is most comfortable on the screen.
Reddit is stepping into some pretty competitive waters with this app. The online community has over 200 million users, and over 50 percent of the site’s daily traffic comes from people on mobile devices. That means the market for smooth-feeling smartphone Reddit browsers has been going strong for some years now. Many of these apps have developed hardcore followers who won’t even give alternative apps a try.
Nevertheless, Reddit may have something of an advantage over these third party developers in the long run. Even if these unofficial apps feel warm and familiar, the Reddit dev team is able to work intimately with the website, potentially making changes to either whenever hangups occur. Consider how many people continue using the official Facebook app in spite of its notorious reputation as a resource hog. The Android Reddit app was developed in tandem with an iOS app, and each is available in the Google Play Store and App Store respectively.
It has yet to be determined whether the official Reddit app stands on its own against the waves of third party competitors, but you can give it a spin yourself and see if you prefer it over what you’re currently using. Click the button below to download it from the Play Store, then report back to the comments section to let us know how it compares. Think you’ll be making the swap to the official app?