Reeder Finally Exits Beta and Hits the App Store

I’ve been using Reeder since the very beginning, since back when it was just a wee little app with no subscription management or automatic refresh.

Since that first public beta, reeder has grown from a buggy iOS port to a fully-featured, beautiful Google Reader client. There’s no shortage of Mac RSS applications, and many have developed loyal fanbases across many niches. In this crowded market, can reeder really offer something new?

Layout and Design

Reeder features a richly detailed, iOS-inspired design, with many customizable options, allowing you to browse through your articles as you please. The default layout is a typical three-column affair with columns for subscription list, article list, and preview/browser pane. You can also browse Reeder in a minimized, two-column layout, which only shows full articles when double-clicked.

You can customize the details of Reeder’s appearance, from color and texture to font size and contrast. My only minor complaint here is that the app window is dimmed when you’re customizing the appearance, so you can’t really tell what the color looks like.

Reeder interface with "classic" layout and "standard" color options

Reeder interface with "classic" layout and "standard" color options

"minimized" layout and "iOS" color scheme

"minimized" layout and "iOS" color scheme

Reeder’s interface is well-designed and straight-forward: the reduced layout features only the bare minimum of buttons, allowing you to view starred, unread, or all articles. By default, clicking the “mark all as read” icon (the checkmark) has a confirmation prompt, which is a little annoying, but can be removed in preferences. Reeder’s interface is customizable to the point that that you can change pretty much anything you don’t like about it to suit your own preferences.

Reading preferences

Reading preferences

Multi-Touch Browsing

Without a doubt my favourite feature of Reeder is the customizable multi-touch support. Without setting any preferences, the multi-touch interactions work pretty intuitively and are really a joy to use. Use three fingers to scroll through unread articles, swipe with three fingers to view an article in minimized layout, or view an article in the built-in browser in the classic layout. I have gestures set up to open an article in Chrome when I pinch open, and send to ReadItLater when I pinch closed.

“Swipe to Navigate” has to be enabled under System Preferences / Trackpad or Mouse for full multi-touch support. Full support currently only works for multi-touch trackpad, and ther is limited support (swipe left and swipe right) for Magic Mouse.

Multi-touch support is completely customizable, I have it set up so that I can browse my articles without a single click or keystroke. It feels super futuristic.

Customizing multi-touch gestures

Customizing multi-touch gestures

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’d rather go the keyboard route than the multi-touch route, Reeder’s keyboard shortcuts feature even more options than gestures. Reeder uses simple keyboard shortcuts without the cmnd prefix, which will be familiar to users of Google’s web apps.

Customizing keyboard shorcuts

Customizing keyboard shorcuts

Integration with Services and Other Features

Reeder supports integration with a slew of bookmarking and offline reading services, including Readability, Instapaper, ReadItLater, Pinboard, Delicious, Zootool and Twitter. You can customize which services appear in the toolbar, and which ones are activated with specified gestures or keyboard shortcuts.

Saving an article to Delicious

Saving an article to Delicious

Readability

Reeder features full support for Web and Mobile web reading app Readability, which functions much like apps like Instapaper or ReadItLater, but with direct browser integration that allows you to view any article on the web in a clutter-free environment. Readability charges a monthly fee for accessing their “read it later” feature, and 70% of your fee goes to writers and publishers to compensate them for allowing content to be viewed without ads. Within Reeder, you can use Readability to filter out ads in RSS posts (though I found this feature inconsistent) and to pre-load full articles from partial-feed posts (allowing you to get around feeds that only let you read a “teaser” from your RSS reader). I found the “toggle readability” feature a bit confusing and couldn’t always tell what it was doing. You can also send articles to your reading list as you can for similar apps.

Google Reader Features

Reeder supports Google Reader features like sharing and notes, shared articles and those with notes can be viewed in the “all articles” view, and notes appear at the top of articles. After adding a note, however, I found it didn’t always show up right away.

iPhone App

Reeder syncs with the original iPhone and iPad apps app, which are also wonderful apps. Check out Jonas Wisser’s review of the iPad app over at iPhone Appstorm.

The Little Things

Reeder excels in attention to detail, from the smoothly animated interactions to the unread article count displayed on the side of the icon. Though there may be other RSS readers with more powerful features (like more fully featured subscription management) I think the beautifully designed details more than make up for it.

Conclusion

Using Reeder is like interacting with the future of Mac applications, the developer has taken all the best parts of mobile development, including a gesture-based, simplified interface, and seamlessly integrated them with the power and flexibility of a desktop application. The result is an intuitive and enjoyable experience with all the functionality you need in an RSS reader.

In this crowded category, Reeder sets itself apart in a number of ways. The multi-touch interface is probably the most unique and innovative element of Reeder, but its seamless integration with all the major bookmarking services gives it a broad appeal to all types of users. Reeder’s extensive customization options allow you to read your news as you please, without having to learn a new set of keyboard shortcuts or gestures.

I had largely given up on RSS a couple months ago, using Vienna felt more like checking my email than keeping up with the latest news. As we transition away from traditional news sources like newspapers and magazines, there is room to craft a new user experience of the consumption of current media, and Reeder feels very much like a big step in this direction. Without falling back on a predictable newspaper-inspired interface, Reeder offers a truly enjoyable way to keep up with your favourite content in a way that feels engaging and new, and is not merely an attempt to replace traditional media with a close digital analog.


Summary

Reeder is a Google Reader client featuring a slick, natural interface, beautiful details and integration with your favourite bookmarking services.

10
  • Mitch

    But the pricing is too much …

    • Robert

      No, it’s not. Come on, we’re talking about $ 9,99!! That’s like two coffees…

    • http://kanso.me René

      You’re kidding, right? This is a product that will likely receive free updates for a long time (talking about years here), can be installed on all the Macs that you own and that has an extremely well made interface design. Not long ago, apps like this would cost around $50. Saying that $10 is too much is ludicrous.

    • to

      The MAS and people who think like that are killing the base of the Mac – little independent developers.
      You can’t make a living with those cheap prices, not unless your are always under the top 15 Apps on the MAS.
      And several developers confirm this – but they will not do so in public.
      Microsoft Office and the Adobe CS perform better on a windows machine, the often fantastic little Apps on the Mac make the difference! And the MAS and the pricing are killing Apples own base.

      • http://rtest.ws Richard Testani

        While he doesn’t expand on his reasons at all, I can think of a few that make this a bit pricey even for a beautiful looking app.

        RSS readers are a dime a dozen. $9.99 creeps into the, do I need it category.

        I do agree it’s not an expensive app – but there are so many apps on my computer, I probably spend more on apps NOW than I have in the past when apps were hundreds for any kind of program.

        If I had only a few options for this sort of application, this would be a no-brainer.

    • Josh

      $9.99 for one of the best Mac Apps there is and one that’ll be used every single that your Mac is on? Not in the slightest. It works out at less ¢3 a day over a year and you’re helping to support a great developer.

  • Antoine

    Considering the long development (I use Reeder since the very first beta version) and the quality of this app, no, the price isn’t too much !

  • Morgan

    Posted on June 23. Envato… you are the last to report such news! Things like this and the #archive clutter in your Twitter feed make me wonder why you don’t just concentrate on the things you do well, like the marketplace. Your “news” and your “feeds” are patently bad. It’d be great if you just dropped the pageview crap and made yourselves useful as a source of current information.

  • Josh

    Reeder is probably my most used app on my iPhone but I currently prefer using Caffeinated on my Mac which is also free whilst in beta.

    • Antoine

      I tried it. And it went to the trash right away. Why ? It crashed all the time, I couldn’t keep it open more than a few seconds !
      And no, I’m not kidding =/

      • Me

        Um, okay. Then I guess your OS has some serious issues. I’ve been using betas for months, and now the final release without any issues whatsoever. But okay, it’s the developer’s fault for not accounting for your tweaked system.

  • Jérôme

    Reeder doesn’t sync with the iOS apps, it syncs with Google Reader.

    • Antoine

      Yes, but the result is pretty much the same, isn’t it ? I mean since Reeder works with online services (Instapaper, ReadItLater, …) and obviously Google Reader, a specific sync between Mac and iOS apps wouldn’t be useful.

      • Jérôme

        Yeah, and Mail.app for OS X syncs with the Mail app for iOS, does it :).

  • http://twitter.com/gianpaj GianPaJ

    I still prefer NetNewsWire.
    The only RSS reader with powerful search and filtering.
    Not perfect yet but the best I’ve tried

  • http://www.danielogden.com/ Daniel Ogden

    I used Reeder throughout it’s beta stage and immediately purchased it when it went up on the App Store. I use it daily, and even read this article on it.

    The price for the app is much less than it’s worth, but it’s a shame there’s so many free and cheap ‘functional’ alternatives for people to use instead. It’s a shame because they’ll never decide to use this brilliant piece of software.

    On more than one occasion I’ve been using Reeder on my computer and someone has asked me what app it was. It’s not just the functionality but the experience of using it that adds the value to this software.

  • Jonathan

    I’ve been using NetNewsWire for over a year or so now. Been pretty happy with it but recently checking my RSS Feeds has become cumbersome. Was thinking about switching over to Reeder and this review might have sealed the deal.

    Does Reeder have a “search” feature? a really handy tool which NetNewsWire has

    • Me

      Yup, there is a search function. And it can search Starred, Unread, or All feed content. I’m not an avid searcher in my RSS feeds, but it has worked well for the me the few times I’ve used it.

  • Autoxave

    This app is cheap, really cheap, regarding it´s reliability, funcionality and design.

  • TC

    Don’t get why there is so much hype about this app. There are better newsreaders out there (such as NewRack, which allows you to add your own scripts).

    People only go for the looks without considering the functionality… and really most of the features such as the multi-touch are pointless on mac.

  • Paulyboy

    I’ve been using NetNewsWire for quite some time and I’m happy with it. However, I know its future is kind of uncertain. So the minute it starts to act funky (being that it hasn’t been updated it quite awhile, at least the non-MAS version) I’m getting Reeder. It might even give in sooner even though it’s not necessary.

    I think it’s silly to think $10 is too much for an app that’s probably used very frequently. In fact, it’s kind of funny but when you think about it most people’s most-used apps are probably free ones like web browsers, some Twitter clients, and some RSS readers. Perhaps this has spoiled folks a little?

  • jeezus

    Never tried Reeder though I tried using NetNewsWire, Google Reader, and a few others but I just never have enough time to read all the feeds I want to read. It seems every time I’ve checked all the new items, like 50 more show up and I can never keep up to date. It just makes me tuck it away for a week or so and come back, “mark all as read”, then start fresh. It snowballs again from there. I just can’t get into news feed readers because of this. Also, applications sitting on my drive must be tracking these feeds with a database kept locally, which I don’t like because I like my Mac having a small data footprint so I can easily back up and restore (I’m one of the freaks that does one-to-one copies every week). All the feeds are on the web, why download them when I’m always online? I *hate* Apple Mail for the same reason – I don’t need or want another offline copy of my gmail, et al. I do like Google Reader only because it’s not creating a new db on my drive, it’s all server-side, which is very nice.

    • EG

      Can’t stand news readers as well.
      I found out using twitter is better, you never feel like you have to read everything, and the very important news will spread anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/ileopard87 Chris Robertson

    Reeder is probably the best (looking + functionality-wise) RSS app for Mac and iPhone… So it goes without saying that it’s worth it…

    Now, $9.99 will not only buy you a FANTASTICALLY designed RSS Reader, but also a FULLY-FUNTIONAL Google synced RSS feeder and manager!

  • http://www.rafalzielinski.com Rafal

    I use NetNewsWire, its free and pretty much the same thing…

  • http://loneplacebo.com Tony

    RSS readers are cool again, thanks to Reeder.

  • dev

    i’m sorry but a RSS reader that can’t even manage my OWN and not GOOGLE READER RSSs doesn’t worth 10 bucks. I better save these money for Lion. 10 bucks is way too much for a window with 3 sections that syncs with google reader. Say what you want, but it’s true.

  • http://www.theappleplace.com Ivan

    Great app. Best Developer, Italian!

  • Scott

    Excellent app. It’s a typical example of how post-PC era app should be.

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