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Reddit buys unofficial iOS client Alien Blue, offers 'Pro' features free for limited time

Popular iOS reddit client app Alien Blue was acquired by reddit itself for an undisclosed sum on Wednesday, with the software now positioned as the online community's official reader.

Reddit revealed the Alien Blue buy to TechCrunch, saying the app's lone developer, Jase Morrissey, will be brought on board as part of the deal.

Curiously, Alien Blue will not be rebranded under the reddit umbrella, which prior to today's acquisition included only the reddit AMA - Ask Me Anything app. Instead, reddit wants to leave the choice up to users.

"Our whole philosphy (sic) has been to give our users choice. We've got the reddit AMA app, and alienblue (sic) coming out... but we really want users to use whatever they want," said Ellen Pao, Reddit's head of Strategic Partnerships. "We think Alienblue is great, and it's the most popular reddit app on iOS. We wanted to be able to offer it as a reddit app, and we wanted to help Jase with additional resources to do everything he wanted to do with it."

With the App Store rights being transferred from Morrissey's iTunes account to reddit's, existing users will have to re-download the app, while those who upgraded to the "Pro" feature set will need to repurchase in-app.

For the next week, however, reddit is waving all "Pro" in-app charges, granting both current and new users free access to advanced features like support for multiple accounts, accelerometer-based viewing and post filtering. The company is also making the iPad version free as work progresses toward a universal app.

While Alien Blue's name will remain for the foreseeable future — appended by "reddit official client" — the app's logo has been tweaked in the transition and takes on a rounded logo with lowercase "r" positioned in the top left corner.

Alien Blue is available as a free 21.8MB download from the iOS App Store.