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

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: Made@Gloria

Gruml

Gruml

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

NetNewsWire

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

Vienna

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

NewsRack

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

Socialite

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

Caffeinated

Caffeinated

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

Conclusion

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!