Developer – Christian Selig
Price – Free with in app purchases (elegantly called tips)
Apollo – Lightning Fast User Experience
Apollo was developed by Christian Selig who was previously employed at Apple. Christian also developed the great iPhone speed reading app “Syllable”. It’s rare an independent app developer (yes, this app is a 3rd party release) has the pedigree that Christian has, and it shows. The app was in development for years by Christian with the goal of creating a slick app with the look and feel of an Apple product. Christian couldn’t have chosen a better app in need of a good boost in user experience. Reddit’s propriety app known as Reddits: Trending News & Tips App, has the exact same content as the mobile website and is described as 50% faster which automatically loads GIFs and provides the ability of unlimited scrolling. The Reddit mobile app is really a great upgrade to the website for the simple reason the GIFs automatically play and the unlimited scroll allows you to browse and view content almost twice as fast as the website and was really the best way to utilize Reddit until the beast known as Apollo was released.
I know what you are thinking…if the Apollo app has the same content, why is it necessary. The simple reason is the Reddit app was developed for both Android and iOS limiting the ability to utilize the iOS software and hardware available with the Apple iPhone (Sorry Android users. You are stuck with Reddit’s Trending New & Tips APP). I was skeptical also, but the one word answer for the value of Apollo is SPEED. Apollo is packed with other features that we will discuss later, but the only reason you need to download this one is the SPEED. When you open the app, the first GIF will start to play immediately. I scrolled down in the Apollo app as fast as my sausage like thumb can move and the scroll was 100% smooth. As I started to fatigue from the strenuous exercise, I was pleasantly surprised as the video started with no glitches or pauses. Switching from subreddit categories is seamless. While the Reddit app is faster than the mobile website, it doesn’t stack up at all with the speed of Apollo. The Reddit app has a clunky experience scrolling, loading videos, and switching subreddit categories.
If you enjoy Reddit, you won’t be deleting Apollo from your phone anytime soon. Since most Reddit users frequent the site daily, go ahead and send Christian a tip ($$) to unlock the pro version as you will want to utilize all of the Apollo features. Tips start at $2.99 and continue to $4.99 and top out at $9.99. Any tip amount will unlock the same features. The amount of time you will use this app justifies the price point which is similar to a gallon of gas. The most practical feature is the ability to create new posts (the free version does not allow you to post content). Not only are you allowed to post content, but it also features a markdown editor which is an automatic formatting tool that converts easy to read text (while you are writing) to HTML format. Additionally, formatting text and incorporating links is an extremely fast and effortless. If you have multiple Reddit accounts, this feature is for you, as you don’t have to log in and out of Reddit to post and view from separate accounts. The free Apollo app allows you to change the screen between black and white. The add-on at cost will provide you with sunset and sunrise settings and automatically adjusts the screen darkness to coincide with the sun position. You can also set the darkness to be based on your iPhone brightness. This feature screams Apple as it isn’t really needed but pretty cool which is a philosophy Apple has mastered. You will also need to purchase the pro version to change your icon. Do you get tired of navigating around spam on Reddit? Us too. The pro version includes the ability to filter out posts based on keywords. Most spam submissions starts with Checkout or new. Filter out these keywords for a spam free reading experience. the final pro version feature provides an additional touch ID security feature which works just like trying to open your iPhone, so you will need to use the thumb scan or password to open the app.
Apollo – The Minor Issues
While the Apollo app is basically flawless, there is one noticeable disadvantage that may be an issue with some users. The pro version is required to post content this will definitely be an issue for a small group of users who pride themselves on never paying for apps. For most of us, the $2.99 price for the pro version is minor as we know we will use this app for years and is packed with real features we will use and desire.
Apollo – Final Launch
The multiple years of development really shows with Apollo speed, smooth transitions, and ease of use. Buck up for the pro version and if you use Reddit, this is a must have so don’t even waste time playing with the app before purchasing the pro verison. Since Reddit is only growing in popularity and Christian spent considerable money and time developing Apollo, it is expected this app will be maintained for years and updates aren’t just going to fix issues, but they will be packed with noticeable changes and features.