Reeder for Mac (spelled with ee instead of ea) is a $10 front end app that connects to your Google Reader account, delivering a more elegant interface, better sharing functionality and an overall better Google Reader experience. Before you ask, Reeder for Mac is definitely worth the $10 price for anyone who uses Google Reader on a daily basis.
Reeder improves on Google Reader by removing the clutter and replacing it with a simple and beautiful interface. After you enter your Google account info, Reeder pulls the feeds from the service and organizes them in a similar fashion, with the folders along the left and the content along the right. That’s where the similarities end. Instead of the cluttered screen you get on the Google Reader site, Reeder for Mac places the content in a cleaner setup that makes it easier to key in on the content and read.
Compare the above elegant simple interface to the busy and cluttered interface of Google Reader below.
In Google Reader you often get an incomplete view of the article, with pictures out-of-place and poor formatting. To see the article as it is on the feed’s original site in Google Reader you have to click the title and it takes you to the site in the browser. With Reeder for Mac, you can click the more link at the end of the article to see the web version of the article without leaving the Reeder app.
When you are viewing the full article in Reeder for Mac will there is less clutter than there is with Google Reader’s rendition of the article. In the app the article is there with images in place but the ads removed. The fonts are large and easy to read. It looks cleaner and is easier to spend a long time reading articles.
The other improvement Reeder brings over Google Reader is the ability to interact with other services. From within the app you can post articles to your Instapaper account, Twitter, Facebook and others.
- Like – your followers can see the article
- Star – bookmarks the article
- Share – posts that article to your Google Reader public page
- Readability – a service that transforms the articles into more readable format on their site or their mobile app
- Instapaper – similar to readability but more for bookmarking pages temporarily to read later on the Instapaper site or the mobile app
- Twitter – shares the article through your Twitter account letting you paste the title and a shortened link plus your own comments
- Email – sends a link through your default mail client
- Sharing Menu – share button pops down a list for doing things like copying the link, opening in other services, or open in Chrome
- CMS – post the article to your blog (not functioning yet)
Other services that are not being used in our toolbar (which you can customize in the Preferences) are as follows:
- Open in Browser – opens your default browser to the page
- Google Mobilizer – opens the article in a mobile version through the Google Mobilizer service
- Instapaper Mobilizer – opens in Instapaper’s mobile version
- Zootool – a visual bookmarking site
- Delicious – a social bookmarking site
- Pinboard – a social bookmarking site that has a monthly fee
- ReadItLater – a service like Instapaper
- Note in Reader – lets you add annotations to articles for use within the app
Some of the other features we really like are the ability to use simple keyboard shortcuts to navigate. You can customize these in the Preferences. There are also plenty of gestures for users of trackpads. They are also customizable. Here are a few of the gestures available:
- Swiping left or right to open/close the built-in article viewer/browser.
- Swiping up or down to move to previous or next article.
- Pinching open or closed to engage the Readability version of each article.
Value and Recommendation
Reeder for Mac earns our recommendation for delivering a great looking interface for Google Reader that makes it easier to read and share a large number of feeds. We can’t count the amount of time Reeder’s simple sharing, customizable shortcuts and gestures have already saved us.
If we had any complaints it would be that there is little built-in help and almost none on the app’s website. We had to email the developer to figure out the answer to one of our questions. Fortunately Reeder is simple enough that most users won’t need a lot of help.
You can get Reeder for Mac in the Mac App Store for $9.95.
- Easy to use
- Simple interface
- Looks great
- Less cluttered than Google Reader
- Pulls from Google Reader
- Lots of sharing services and methods
- Extremely customizable
- Lots of keyboard shortcuts and gesture support for navigation
- Also an iPad app
- Little built-in help
- Doesn’t work with Evernote natively