Reeder Calls Out MobileRSS For Design Theft, Community Backlash Begins

When it comes to RSS readers, there’s no question that my preference is to use Reeder. Whether on iPhone, iPad, or the Mac, their apps brings a usability and elegance to an otherwise ugly medium. And obviously, design is a huge part of that. So when Reeder developer Silvio Rizzi saw that exact design being used by a competitor, MobileRSS, he was obviously pissed off. And from the looks of it, rightfully so.

What Rizzi did next was both ballsy and brilliant. He created a page on his site to show side-by-side examples of just how bad the rip-off is. And support quickly flowed in. Stories about the rip-off began surfacing. As did hundreds (if not thousands) of retweets. And now the community that is partially responsible for the success that MobileRSS has seen up until now has started responding as well.

Read It Later, the popular bookmarking service, has written a post to let users know that as a show of support for Reeder, they’ve disabled MobileRSS’s API key. The service notes that they’ve decided to do this even though MobileRSS is the third-highest news app used by Read It Later users over the past year. They say that any user who feels wronged by this decision should email them and they’ll figure out a way to offset the costs.

Hopefully no one does, because this is just the right thing to do.

We’ve reached out to MobileRSS for a comment about the situation and will update if we hear back.

Update: Instapaper developer Marco Arment had thrown his support behind Reeder as well.

Update 2: And now MobileRSS is backing down. They’ll re-submit the app removing the similarities.