The RSS reader market was fully dominated by Google Reader for years, and the best native apps for RSS were all designed to sync with Google Reader. There just wasn’t any other way to compete. In that market, Reeder quickly won most of us over with its beautiful UI, something that other apps rushed to copy.
Then, Google announced that it was closing down Google Reader, and we all rushed to find another way to read our feeds. There’s great Mac-only RSS apps, like the new NetNewsWire 4 beta and the just-released Leaf 2, but that’s going to keep you from reading your feeds on the go. You’ll still get your feeds, but will have lost the ability to read your feeds from anywhere that you had with Google Reader.
Syncing’s tough, of course, and there’s so many popular services now you’d need to support. To that challenge, one unlikely app has risen to be the best-in-class app that’s the one app any serious RSS user on the Mac should buy: ReadKit. Now with the customizable sharing options you’d have expected from Reeder, it’s the one RSS reader to beat.
In the past few months, RSS has gone through a dramatic transformation from being a one-man show to becoming a free-for-all with many players in the fold. I know a lot of people on Feedly, but I ended up going with Feed Wrangler to get things done. I think the transition to privately owned content, instead of Google’s focus on ad-serving, is highly beneficial.
But that being said, some services have been replaced by apps who operate independently of any free or paid RSS service. These are app-dependent RSS feeds that operate independently of cross-platform services. The most popular of these is probably NetNewsWire, but with version 2.0 of Leaf RSS Reader, Leaf enters the fold as a prime contender. I imported my Feed Wrangler feeds to the service to give it a whirl.
The least enjoyable part of setting up new computers is installing apps, for me anyhow. The Mac App Store makes this a lot easier, but many essential and valuable Mac apps are not present in the App Store either by choice from the vendor or due to the limitations placed on apps located in the store. Instead, you have to find the installer, download it, install it, then rinse/repeat a dozen times.
In the Windows ecosystem, Ninite offered a way around this problem. It allows you to install a number of popular apps from their library by running a single application. It’s simple and convenient, and made setting up a new PC or reinstalling Windows a little bit less annoying.
While you need to reinstall OS X far less often than Windows, it’s can still be a time consuming task when needed. Plus, you still need to setup apps anytime you get a new Mac. That’s where Get Mac Apps comes in. Their home page says “It’s like Ninite for mac!”, so let’s take it at its word and see how well it works. (more…)
Adobe promised with their move to Creative Cloud subscriptions that they’d be updating their apps quicker and adding more value with services. The quicker updates have already been coming, with new editing features coming to Premiere Pro only a month after the new CC version had been released, but the services part hadn’t come along quite as quickly. We’ve been waiting for the originally promised file and Typekit font sync ever since the new Creative Cloud’s release. Just when it seemed that it’d never come, though, Adobe finally opened early access to syncing that’s been rolling out this week.
Apparently good things still come to those who wait, because Creative Cloud file and font syncing works very nicely. Here’s what you can expect when your Creative Cloud — or standalone Typekit Portfolio — plan gets desktop sync enabled.
Ask most people about internet telephony and they’ll probably think of Skype. After all, it’s the most popular service of this kind in the world and available of a wide range of devices. But Skype isn’t the only internet telephony service out there; far from it! In fact, there are thousands of services all over the world using open standards that provide the ability to make and receive phone calls over the internet.
No matter which service you choose to go with, you’re going to need an app to actually make and receive calls. Telephone, as you may have already guessed, is a VoIP client that provides this functionality. I put the app through it’s paces and see if it really does what its name suggests.
Mostly when you’re not expecting it, serendipity kicks in. Just as I was searching for a Chrome extension for Pinboard after reading about some unexpected use of this bookmarking service revived my interest in it, I hear of a new Pinboard client for Mac OS X.
The Mac has yet to see a ton of brand new RSS reader apps to fill in the gaps left by Google Reader’s death. There’s the new NetNewsWire 4 beta, and a handful of other apps with native RSS syncing, but old giants like Reeder still haven’t updated to sync with the most popular new RSS services. Instead, ReadKit has emerged as the best app to sync with the major RSS services today, despite its roots as an reading later app.
And now, another reading later app has added RSS syncing: Words. It was already a reading later app that synced with Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket that we’d covered before that’s now added native RSS syncing.
Password managers are one of the many answers to the public’s need for higher security, particularly against account hacking and the occasional snooping around. On the Mac, Agile Bits’ 1Password 3 stands as the leader of the group with contenders like the simpler Passlocker and the free alternative LastPass coming up close.
Recently, I came across oneSafe by Lunabee Pte Ltd., a brand new addition to the list of password managers. I’ve been a 1Password user for as long as I can remember, so I was curious to see what oneSafe has that sets it apart. But more than just looking at the app’s features, I’ll evaluate how it fairs against 1Password and see if it has what it takes to become a game changer of its niche. (more…)
Google Reader’s demise has left us scrambling for a new — and hopefully better — way to keep up with the feeds from our favorite websites. There’s tons of new online RSS services, NetNewsWire has come back from the brink of death, and the read-later app ReadKit has emerged as the best Mac app if you want to sync with the best online RSS reading services.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s not room for competition for RSS readers on the Mac; quite the opposite, in fact. There’s so many new online RSS services, we had to trim down the our list considerably to feature only the best Google Reader alternates. On the Mac, the two apps mentioned above are almost all most people would think of for RSS reading on the Mac.
But there’s another new app that is easily one of the top contenders: Caffeinated 2. Our former editor Josh Johnson declared the original Caffeinated beta “a fresh Google Reader app that you’ll love”. Now, just over 18 months later, the same is still true if you replace “Google Reader” with “standalone RSS reader”. (more…)
For many of you, March 13th was a dark day. In fact, in the intervening months, just the mention of the words “Google” and “Reader” in the same sentence has been enough to send chills down many a spine. The time has come for all of you who are wedded to the Google style of RSS aggregation to face the facts, though, and find a new home for your feeds.
The innovation and competition among feed readers in the Mac App Store, however, is rather lacking. The granddaddy of Mac feed reading, NetNewsWire, is currently beta testing a new version, and the reading later app ReadKit has emerged as one of the best new RSS readers if you’ve switched to one of the new reading services. Outside of this, the field is looking wide open.
There is one promising entry, though. Mixtab Pro is the $4.99 descendent of the free, long-term resident of the App Store, which was named, simply, Mixtab. It is one of the new breed of magazine-style readers, which provide a highly visual way of staying up to date with the latest headlines. The popularity of many such apps on touchscreen devices shows that this look can be popular, but does that extend to the desktop environment? (more…)