Reeder 2 for Mac review

Popular RSS app Reeder has finally released the long awaited Reeder 2 update for the Mac. Since the first version of Reeder was dependent upon Google Reader, which has long been discontinued, the service had to be reworked to incorporate other RSS services. The iOS version was updated a while back but the Mac app provided a different kind of challenge, according to Reeder's developer, Silvio Rizzi. A year later and Reeder 2 has finally landed. So was it worth the excruciatingly long wait?

Anyone who has ever used Reeder on the Mac in the past or is currently using Reeder 2 for iOS will still feel right at home on Reeder 2 for Mac. The changes are subtle enough to make long time Reeder users comfortable but they're enough to also let them appreciate the new version. The overall design has been tweaked to be smoother, flatter, and even more sleek than it was before. The tones are similar to that of Reeder 2 for iOS, so if you like them on mobile, you'll love the Mac version. There are also a few themes you can choose from to suit your tastes. I personally prefer the darker themes with white text.

Reeder 2 for Mac now supports Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever and Readability. You can also use local or standalone feeds with no account if you prefer. However, standalone feeds won't offer sync. If you have multiple RSS accounts, you can add them all and quickly toggle between them in the far left navigation pane. When you don't need to see your accounts, just use a swipe gesture to hide it. The main interface and navigation of Reeder remains largely unchanged from its predecessor. Cascading panes allow you to drill down into your feeds. The first hierarchy will contain your feeds or folders — whichever you choose in settings. You can then click into individual feeds and finally view articles. The article view supports mobile and full blown web views.

Sharing content remains largely unchanged from the previous version of Reeder for Mac. You can copy URLs and enjoy the same one-click sharing settings Reeder has always offered in a convenient drop-down menu located right above the article view.

Reeder 2 offers a lot of customizable keyboard shortcuts and gestures that can help make how you consume news a little more personalized. For instance, you can add a quick keyboard shortcut for copying a link or moving to the next feed. You can also change swipe gestures to suit your needs. For example, I prefer swiping up on article view to send the article to Pocket, and with Reeder 2 I can easily do that.

The good

  • Same great design and experience Reeder 2 for iOS offers
  • Support for all the popular RSS services
  • Full screen mode support
  • Completely customizable fonts and colors for article view

The bad

  • Sometimes the swipe up and down gesture in article view seems to require a lot more effort than it needs to, hopefully that'll be tweaked in a future version

The bottom line

I've been using Reeder on iOS and Mac for as long as I can remember. For the past year or so I've had to turn to other Mac RSS apps to fill the gap Reeder left when Google Reader shut down. After using Reeder 2 for only a few days, I feel as if that gap has been filled again. I missed the simplicity and elegance that Reeder brings to the table. Is it the most feature packed RSS app available? Probably not. But the experience it brings with it more than makes up for it.

If you've tried out Reeder 2 for Mac, was it worth the extremely long wait in your opinion? Or did you expect more this time around? Let me know in the comments!

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Ten bucks sounds like a lot for an app that I’ve already paid for. However, when Google Reader shut down, it left me in a bad spot. Nothing that I tried as a replacement for Reeder "worked" for me. I had gotten used to how Reeder worked, and I just could not get comfortable with any of these replacement apps. Reluctantly, I ponied up the sawbuck as soon as I saw that Reeder 2 was available. Two days later, I am glad I did. Welcome back, Reeder. Oh, how I missed you!
  • If I've been happy with ReadKit, is there any point in shelling out another $10 for the latest version of Reeder? ReadKit has pretty perfectly replaced Reeder 1 for my usage.
  • Readkit is what I had been using in Reeder's absence. While it's great, I did really miss the simplicity Reeder brings to the table.
  • I guess I'm not seeing any complexity in ReadKit that would warrant a desire for more simplicity. Easy keyboard shortcuts for basic functionality + sharing is my main concern, but if there's a way Reeder 2 somehow improves on ReadKit's already more than adequate handling of those critical aspects, I'm always game to try it out. Just want to make sure I'm spending my $10 wisely :)
  • If you're happy with Readkit, I wouldn't sweat it. It's every bit as capable as Reeder plus the fact that it also supports read-later services like Instapaper, Pocket and Pinboard (as a list alongside RSS). But there's one thing Reeder trumps over Readkit- speed and responsiveness which becomes more apparent if you rely on keyboard rather than mouse/ trackpad. And I agree with Allyson- there's a certain elegance to Reeder that makes reading more enjoyable (similar to how I view Instapaper to Pocket). And while $10 seems a lot, and the end of the day it's about supporting developers so that they could continue on developing great apps. Sent from the iMore App
  • I have no problem supporting developers, but I also like to spend wisely :) I'm 100% keyboard on ReadKit and haven't noticed any speed or responsiveness issues. I guess I'll wait to see if he ever runs a sale, having purchased the same software for iPhone, iPad and OSX several times makes me a bit reluctant to buy yet again when I'm not seeing this elegance that Reeder has over ReadKit. Thanks for all of the replies helping me make my decision!
  • ReadKit is good, but I've always had issues with plug-ins. For now, I continue to use Leaf.
  • I always liked Reeder (on all platforms / devices), but somehow I always ended up with other apps being my favorites, as I always found Reeder to be stronger on form than function. So, in the "old" (Google Reader) days I always found myself returning to News Rack, but that was killed off when Google shut down. My current favorite combo is Unread on the iPhone, Mr. Reader on the iPad and ReadKit on the Mac. The latter does certainly not quite match Reeder in the GUI department, but you can't beat its functionality. It is the only good solution to access Instapaper and Pocket on the desktop (I know of), it supports great smart folders and has very flexible options to organize content. It does not look that fancy, but it is IMHO a bit more intuitive and quite a bit more powerful. Will stick with it for now.
  • I enjoyed the first reeder for Mac and will probably give Reeder 2 a try. On iOS, I like Reeder 2 on my iPhone and Mr. Reader on my iPad. I would love to see a Mr. Reader version for the iPhone and wonder how it would be on the Mac as well.
  • Mr Reader on the iPad is awesome. Sent from the iMore App
  • If I'm not mistaken, you cannot load all accounts in one amalgamated list. You have to click on an account (e.g., Feedly, or RSS) separately, to see the articles. Not having the option to put accounts together doesn't make much sense to me. Leaf, for example, puts them together, or you can click on individual RSS/Feedly accounts if you wish. I know it's a small gripe, but it's one extra swipe I wish I didn't have to make
  • I have an issue and I can't find a resolution. When I have an article I'm viewing and want to make a comment to it, I cannot do it in Reeder. It only beeps at me and appears to be using the Shortcuts. For example, I type the letter F and it reverts from web site view to Summary view. Even when I remove all of the shortcuts, it still does this. The only way for me to add my comments to articles is to open it in Safari, which adds steps rather than just doing this within Reeder. I emailed the developer more than a week ago and haven't heard anything back from him. What am I missing?