Google Reader on Your Mac: 7 Awesome Apps

We’ve taken a look at various RSS reader solutions in the past, but quite a bit has changed over the past year or two. Most of the apps that we are showing you here are pretty new to the market (and some are not even yet out of beta!)

The RSS reader market has been getting bigger, and Google Reader has established its position as the de facto standard for syncing and managing feeds. But are you tired of using Google Reader’s web interface?

Today we’ll be featuring some of our favorite picks for the best RSS desktop apps that work with Google Reader.


Reeder for Mac

Reeder for Mac has been getting a lot of praise lately for bringing the experience of iOS apps to the Mac platform. Everything about it seems very simple and pretty, and it surely won’t take you more than a few minutes to figure out how it works.

It’s also free, and it syncs perfectly with Google Reader (though you can’t manage your feeds just yet). This app came out recently and has been receiving regular updates, so you should expect it to only get better with time.

There are also iPad and iPhone versions of it, and we can guarantee you that once you use it, you won’t want to come back to your average Mac app…

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or greater
Developer: [email protected]



Gruml is also quite a new app that has gotten a lot of popularity. Unlike Reeder, Gruml trades simplicity for functionality. This is much more of a conventional RSS reader, and while it’s still pretty to look at, you’ll have plenty of different features vying for your visual attention.

I used to be a hardcore user of Gruml, before I started using Reeder. If what you are looking for is features, this is your app. It has support for most social networks, notes, liked items, comments and much, much more.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or greater
Developer: Andreas Schwelling



NetNewsWire is one of the most popular RSS readers available for Mac, and has been a long-standing player in this market. It is very reminiscent of native Mac apps like Mail, and I find it to be very similar in features to Gruml, as it also has support for tabs and other useful features like social network integration.

Personally, I prefer Gruml to this app, but they are both very similar. They both support Google Reader with no problems and they both share pretty much the same list of features. When I first tried NetNewsWire, I found it to be too slow in comparison to Gruml. I guess it’s a matter of opinion, as a lot of people prefer this app.

The developer has recently also released a stripped down version, called NetNewsWire Lite, which is available on the Mac App Store for free.

Price: Free (Ad-Supported)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or greater
Developer: NewsGator



Vienna is another popular open-source app similar to Gruml and NetNewsWire, both in features and looks. It is a bit simpler than those two, since it manages to keep a clean, clutter-free interface while still giving you most of the features that those readers offer.

It also supports tabbed browsing, and social networks. What it doesn’t quite support right now is Google Reader, but that is said to be coming in the next update, so keep your eyes open for it!

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or greater
Developer: Steve Palmer



NewsRack is a newly available application, priced at $6.99 in the Mac App Store. Originally designed for iOS, this is an example of a developer that has ported their offering across from the mobile platform to your Mac. That said, it’s far more than a “port”, resembling a completely new application.

It supports Google Reader, has tabbed browsing, thumbnail previews and support for Instapaper and Readitlater. Importance is placed on the “keyboard friendly” layout, that makes it easy to navigate around using keyboard shortcuts.

Whether or not you’d be happy to pay $6.99 is a personal choice, but this is a pretty solid option with a decent range of features.

Price: $6.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or greater
Developer: omz:software



Socialite is the one app in this roundup that doesn’t quite fill the spot of an “RSS reader”. It’s mainly a “social network aggregator”, which means that it allows you to see all of your social networks in one simple place where you can interact with them.

It works with Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, and of course, Google Reader. Surprisingly, it has most of the features that you would expect from any stand-alone RSS reader app, and it packs a decent functionality punch for each of the services that it supports. The only set-back is the price, but with all the features on offer, I think it’s more than justified.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or greater
Developer: Apparent Software



Much has been speculated and rumored about Caffeinated. Many people call it “vaporware” and others think it was just abandoned by its developer. Personally, I was waiting for it to come out until I found Reeder. The developer does say that he is still working on this app and that the public beta should be coming out soon.

So, why bother for an app that hasn’t even come out? Well, Caffeinated looks very promising. I think it could have a place between visually stunning apps like Reeder and feature-rich apps like Gruml and NetNewsWire. It’s been said to include social network support, as well as theme support and a beautiful, clutter-free interface. Now we just have to wait for it….

Price: Free
Developer: Curtis Hard


As we’ve shown you, there are plenty of fantastic RSS apps that work with Google Reader, or that are expected to work with it in the near future. Which one is your favourite?

I used to be an avid Gruml user, but once I read about Reeder I just had to switch. I love the simplicity, and it’s a beautifully designed application. Do you know any other RSS apps that work great with Google Reader? Do you have anything to say about Caffeinated? Let us know in the comments!


Add Yours
  • I have been using Reeder on Mac since its early release. I definetly buy the app.

  • Reeder all the way

  • Using Reeding, not 100% sure it will stay free once it’s released.

  • Due to other commitments I have, I find it very hard to find spare time to work on Caffeinated. Its not my main priority, side project that seemed to of took off. But correct about beta very soon! :-)

    • Hey Curtis – Thanks for chipping in. Look forward to seeing the beta!

      • Your welcome, thanks for the mention! I just need to sit down and work at it…, so little time :(.

  • I love Gruml, and it’s free. Great!

  • and now the very best of all:

  • VIENNA is a great.

    It’s very simple. It doesn’t work with Google Reader but then I don’t use Google Reader.

    It lets you manage your feeds, move them around, and most importantly get through them fast.

    I’ve tried Reeder but it was hassle to set up and figure out.

    If you like things simple and functional go with Vienna.

  • netnewswire is damn heavy and eventually crashes but still is the best reader for heavy readers, or ppl who have to deal with 500+ feeds.

  • I use Socialite for FB, twitter and RSS and I love it. No need for 3 separate apps to check :-)

    • Seemed good idea but I found the demo to be very slow updating FB. It seemed to miss a lot of posts.

  • I found some bugs in Reeder. I could not read some posts from my Google Reader. Gruml works perfectly without any problems!

    It Gruml for me!

  • i´m using that thing … what´s the name?!?! … uhmm … MAIL.APP !!! :P

  • I prefer the NetNewsWire as it letting you to add your news feed regardless of the g-reader.

  • I am an avid user of Reeder!! It’s simplicity and beautiful design were enough to switch me from the online Google Reader interface.

  • Reeder since day 1. Love it.

  • You are absolutely right, once you have used Reeder, there is no way back :o)

  • All in favour of Reeder, say ayy


  • Reeder definitly!

  • Keep in mind that Reeder for Mac is NOT a free app. It’s a free beta. The developer has every plan of commercialising this app.

  • What about NewsFire? If you don’t care about syncing then it’s definitely the best newsreader out there… a shame you didn’t put it on the list!

    • I like the simple design of reeder. And it works well enough.

      Off topic: I see alot of the those cartooned style avatars like yours where can I find them?

  • I purchased Reeder for iPhone and I’ll do the same when the full release is available on the Mac AppStore.

  • Yes, all those applications are really cool. But the problem is : what happens if you don’t have one of these app on an other regular computer? What if you must work on a pc ? I’ve been using Vienna and NetNewsWire for a while, but the best solution between good UI and mobility seems to be “pure design”

  • Okay, maybe no one mentioned this because it is not a desktop app, but Feedly is my favorite way to read my Google Reader RSS feeds. It is free online, or you can also pay for the iOS app. Clean, simple lines, easy to use! Combine it with Fluid if you want a “stand alone” reader :)

  • I have tried local Google reader apps but it’s just too easy to use Google reader in the browser, and just 1 less app on my Mac

  • I’ve tried several of these, currently with Reeder but downloading Gruml now for a 2nd look. The biggest problem for me is that I haven’t found any that offer filtering, and the feeds I get include lots of articles that I don’t want. Some sites offer a few options when you subscribe to a feed, and this helps some but I don’t get to choose the criteria. I tried Pipes ( but found it time consuming, especially as I add lots of feeds to evaluate, but I end up unsubscribing to them. Have I missed anything that these (or other) feed readers offer for filtering?

  • I’m happily using Helvetireader userscript with for my RSS-needs :-) See: and

  • For local app, my favorite is Reeder. However, I have recently come upon a better idea…
    I use two extensions in Google Chrome that make for an awesome experience.
    1. Google Reader Snow Leopard. Makes the webapp look like a native Mac OSX app.
    2. Minimalist for Google Reader. Removes the header and some other great user tweaks that takes the theme above and completes into a visually nice and very usable web app that seems faster than a local app.

  • I used and loved Vienna for a long time but recently switched to Reeder to simplify my digital life now that I move between a Mac Pro, Mac Book and an iPod Touch. If Vienna had an iPod/iPhone version than I wouldn’t have switched because I do hate needing to go to Google Reader via Safari just to organize my feeds as I now must do in Reeder, but rarely is anything perfect. If you don’t need to sync with a portable device, though, Vienna is great and totally free.

  • I like Reeder, but lately I have been enjoying the layout and experience of feedly… the browser plugin google readrer app. It is pretty minimal, but I like the configuration element so it feels like it s a Magazine or real news-like publication.

  • RSSOwl is a nice cross-platform RSS Reader. The devs have plans to include Google Reader Sync in future versions.
    Another one is MixTab. It has a very beautiful and unique interface.

  • Already tested the beta version of Reeder and i liked but i’d need the ability to search and filter so Gruml is my choice.

  • Greater info on Mac reader apps. I feel like I’m calling into one of those gameshows and being all like “long time mac fan girl, first time mac owner.” Right straight to the own.


  • RSSOwl with google reader sync, nice option.