Reeder for Mac 3.0 Review

I have been using Reeder for Mac by swiss indie-developer Silvio Rizzi ever since the very first beta and bought it right on its first day on sale. Back then it was the most well-designed RSS reading app availiable for the Mac and with this week’s free 3.0 update, it still holds that title.

3.0 brings lots of interface refinements. It tastefully integrates with Yosemite’s and El Capitan’s Vibrancy style, with a slightly translucent sidebar in some of its themes. It also, following the trend of Mac app design, gets rid of the grey window title bar in favor of letting window title and content bleed into each other.

My only complaint about the design is that in some places there is not enough contrast between text and background, especially with the darker theme options. Apart from that, it is a modern, pleasant design.

Another tent-pole feature of Reeder since day one is its integration with trackpad gestures. Since 1.0 you could pinch on an article to activate Readability mode; in 2.0 the ability to seamlessly swipe sideways through the interface columns was added. With 3.0 it is now possible to over-scroll up and down to the next or previous RSS item. This feature was already present in Reeder for iOS, and although it is unusual in a Mac app, it works well. It is a little difficult to trigger, but in my testing it also never got triggered accidentally. However, I wish there was more visual feedback about when you have scrolled far enough to get to the next article.

One feature that got me hugely exited yet left me terribly disappointed is Reeder 3.0’s Instapaper support. Instapaper earlier this year opened its API for non-subscribers, making it feasible for developers to build third-party Instapaper clients. I have long yearned for a proper Instapaper app for OS X since I do most of my reading on my MacBook Air. The web version of Instapaper is quite slow, so I have been using ReadKit to read my Instapaper queue. However, compared to Reeder, ReadKit is quite an ugly and cumbersome program.

With Reeder 3.0 you can set Instapaper as a sync service. The Integration is seamless and saves all your Instapaper articles for offline reading. What it doesn’t handle correctly, however, is folders. I use Instapaper folders to sort links that I want to do certain things with later. I put them in a folder so they are gone from my reading list. In Reeder 3.0, however, the reading list always shows all unarchived articles across all folders. There seems to be no way to only show unread articles that are not in a folder. (It basically treats folders as tags instead.) This sadly makes Reeder 3.0s Instapaper implementation unusable for me, because all my sorted items get jumbled into the main reading list. I really hope this is a bug and not a feature and will be fixed in a future update. Until then it’s back to ReadKit for me. *Sigh*

Apart from that Reeder 3.0 is a great update for the best RSS reading app on the Mac. You can get it for $9.99/9,99 € on the Mac App Store and if you are in any way invested in RSS, I heartily recommend you do.