This App Is the Best Way to Lurk on Reddit

This App Is the Best Way to Lurk on Reddit

It’s been roughly a year since Reddit’s API changes killed off all the good clients, and the company hasn’t backed down yet. The problem: Reddit’s mobile app and website can both be pretty annoying to use, thanks to a combination of bugs and intrusive engagement gimmicks.

Third party Reddit clients capable of posting and voting aren’t coming back, but if you’re more of a lurker, you should still check out RDX. This open source interface, available online or as an iOS app, lets you browse Reddit without having to actually open Reddit. This tool works around the recent API limitations by not actually using the API at all—it scrapes the actual JSON pages that constitute Reddit in order to present you with posts, comments, and media in a super clean format—a streamlined version of Reddit that loads instantly, even if you can’t post (or interact with posts) while using it.

By default, the service serves up r/all, which is just the most popular posts on the site at the moment. You can browse any subreddit directly—from within the app or using the web version, just tap or click the word “rdx” by the arrow in the top bar of the site and type the name of the community you want to browse. You will see suggestions as you type—pick the community you want or hit “Enter” to open the top match.

There is also support for subscribing to subreddits, meaning you can customize the home page to show only posts from communities you care about. The application can even import your existing subscriptions from Reddit—the process takes about 30 seconds. Beyond that, you can choose custom color themes, fonts, and an infinite scroll mode. That’s about it in terms of options, but the experience is still better than Reddit’s first-party options.

But to reiterate, there’s a big downside to RDX, at least for active Reddit users: You can’t use the client to post, leave comments, or upvote/downvote. That won’t change unless Reddit walks back the changes to its API. But if you’re more of a lurker than a poster, RDX is near perfect—a lightweight, speedy alternative to the clutter of the standard Reddit user interface.

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