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For a brief moment on June 10th, it seemed like Apple was going to support notification syncing between your iPhone and your Mac. It seemed like they said if you got, say, a New York Times push notification on your phone, you could get it on your Mac as well. That feature turned out to be just Safari Push Notifications — an option to let websites push notifications to your Mac the same way mobile apps push notifications on your iPhone. A nice feature still, perhaps, but nothing that’d bring the iOS and OS X synergy we thought was coming.

And yes, Safari Push Notifications are a good idea and a nice new feature, to a degree. But at the same time, they can be one of the most infuriating, in-your-face new features on the Mac. Here’s why.

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It must be the season again for simple RSS reader apps. There’s the new native Mac-style Dayspring feed reader, and the new Dropbox-powered web app JellyReader. And now, we’ve got another new simple feed reader, this time a node-webkit powered Mac and PC app: Sputnik.

Sputnik’s light on features like the other aforementioned apps, but makes up for it with a beautifully unique UI and a silky-smooth performance that makes it delightful to use. And with a low, low price tag of free, it’s absolutely worth checking out.

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Google Reader’s death has pushed us all to decide again what we want from RSS. But it’s easy to forget that Google Reader and online synced feeds weren’t the only option all along. The Mac used to include RSS sync in both Safari and Mail, and Firefox still has Live Bookmarks for a simple way to subscribe to sites. Neither option was as shiny as Reeder or as convenient as any online feed sync with companion mobile apps, but they just worked. You got the latest news on your Mac in a lightweight, native app, and got on with your life.

That’s exactly what the new Dayspring app offers. It’s a lightweight, Mac-only RSS reader that brings back the simplicity of checking your feeds in an app like Mail.

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Tired of having your RSS feeds, longform articles, and bookmarks spread across different apps and services? ReadKit is the reading app you need. It’s the app to keep all of your reading in one place.

ReadKit is the perfect post-Google Reader RSS reader for the Mac, with built-in native RSS sync and full-featured support for all of the best new RSS reader services, including Feedly, Fever, NewsBlur, Feed Wrangler, and Feedbin. You can then add your reading later services — including Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability — and bookmarks from Pinboard and Delicious, and keep everything together in one app. It’s easy to find everything you want to read, with Smart Folders and search, and simple to make your reading experience just the way you want with 4 beautiful themes and the reading font and size of your choice.

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Want more than just reading? ReadKit’s got you covered, with rich integration with all of your favorite sharing and bookmarking services. It’s even got one-click Evernote saving, so you can build an archive of your favorite articles to easily find them later.

ReadKit is our AppStorm RSS and reading app of choice, one we gave a 10/10 rating in our most recent review. We’re pretty sure you’ll love it.

Get a Copy of ReadKit Today!

ReadKit is the RSS and reading later app you need. It’s just $6.99 on the Mac App Store, a steal for everything it offers. Go get your copy today, and start enjoying the best reading experience the Mac has to offer!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…)

If you’re still using Google Reader, there’s a weekend project that you’ve got to take on: exporting your RSS feeds, and finding a new RSS reader app. That’s because it’s the end of June already, and Google’s shutting down Google Reader on Monday!

Over at Web.AppStorm, we’ve written a tutorial for getting your data out of Google Reader — including your favorites — and into other services. Then, we’ve just rounded up the 5 best online replacements for Google Reader, most of which already work with Mac and iOS apps you likely already have tried out. They’re all great, and we’re sure you’ll find one you like there — even without leaving your Mac behind.

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