If you ask me, the new official Reddit app for Android phones and iPhones makes for a better Reddit browsing experience than the full Reddit website, particularly once you know what you’re doing.
For starters, you can “pin” your favorite subreddits to the top of your list, as well as quickly jump from one “parent” comment to the next. There’s also a night mode for late-night Reddit reading, as well as a way to toggle between jumbo and compact media previews. Last but not least, there’s a shortcut for viewing a subreddit’s sidebar.
Note: For now, the Android version of Reddit seems to be lagging behind its iOS counterpart in terms of features; hopefully, Reddit for Android will catch up sooner rather than later.
Pin a subreddit (iOS only)
By default, your list of subreddits in the Reddit app is organized in alphabetical order, but there’s also a way to “pin” a favorite subreddit to the top of the list.
Just swipe on a subreddit from right to left, then tap the green Pin button. If you swipe a little further, you’ll also find a red Unsubscribe button.
Switch on night mode
Browsing Reddit in the dark can be rather too much of an eye-opening experience, particularly if you’ve got a bedmate who’s trying to drift off. Luckily, the official Reddit app joins a growing list of Android and iOS apps that boast a night mode.
For iOS: Tap the Profile button in the bottom-right corner of the screen, tap the Settings button in the top-right corner, then tap the Theme drop-down menu and select Reddit Night. There’s also an Auto Night Theme setting that’ll switch on night mode automatically in the evening.
For Android: Unfortunately, the Reddit app for Android lacks iOS’s Auto Night Theme setting, but you can still turn on night mode manually. Tap the main “hamburger” menu button in the top-left corner of the screen, scroll all the way down and tap Settings, then toggle on the Night Mode setting.
Switch between Compact and ‘Card’ views
One of my favorite things about the official Reddit app is its jumbo-sized “card” view, which breaks out individual Reddit posts into a card-like format complete with large image and video previews. It’s a great way to browse pictures and video clips on Reddit without having to open the actual posts.
That said, the card view may not be for everyone, and luckily there’s a way to switch to a smaller “compact” view, either as an app-wide default or only (for iOS users, anyway) for specific subreddits.
For iOS: To change the default setting for viewing posts in the Reddit app, tap the Profile button in the bottom corner of the screen, tap the Settings button up at the top, tap the Default View, then pick a setting—either Card or Compact.
To change the setting for an individual subreddit, tap the three-dot menu button in the top corner of a subreddit screen, then tap Switch to Compact View or Switch to Card View.
For Android: The Android version of Reddit won’t let you pick separate viewing modes for individual subreddits (or at least, not yet), but there’s an easy way to switch default viewing modes.
Just open a subreddit, tap the three-dot menu button in the top corner of the screen, then tap Card View or Compact View.
Once that’s done, the setting you picked will become the default for every subreddit within the app.
View a subreddit’s community sidebar
One of the downsides of viewing Reddit on its official mobile app is that a subreddit’s sidebar—often an essential repository for community rules, FAQs, and other essential links—is hidden from the main subreddit view.
That said, you can still view sidebars from the official Reddit app if you know where to look.
For both the Android and iOS versions of Reddit, just tap the three-dot menu button in the top corner of any subreddit screen, then tap the Community Info option.
Jump from one ‘parent’ comment to the next (iOS only)
It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole when viewing a subreddit post with hundreds or even thousands of comments, particularly if you wander into a rant by the grammar police.
An easy way to stay on track is by skipping ahead from one parent comment—the comment to which a another comment (or several) is referring—to the next, and the iOS version of the Reddit app has a handy feature that’ll let you do just that.
As you scroll down within a subreddit post, you’ll see a faint, translucent arrow button floating on the screen. Tap it, and you’ll immediately jump to the next parent comment.
If you want to move the button elsewhere on the screen, tap and hold the button until it bulges, then drag it wherever you like.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.