The minimalist appearance, together with the built-in sharing and saving options, taking all of Google Reader’s main features, and giving you even more, makes it extremely easy to make the transition from using the web-based app to a dedicated desktop app. If you want all of these features and more, and want one less tab open in your browser, it’s worth giving Reeder a try.
When Reeder first launches, you will be prompted to enter your Google credentials. If you want to use multiple accounts with Reeder, just hold down the alt button when launching the app.
All of your subscriptions will then be visible in the app. All folders will appear and subscriptions are accessible from a column on the left hand side of the app.
You can then browse through stories in any given folder, add them to your favourites, share them, or mark them as unread using the buttons above the entry.
Reeder takes all of its cues from Google Reader, allowing you to browse your own notes, the items that you’ve shared and items that your friends have shared with you.
The three buttons at the top of the page allow you to toggle between various menus to access your content. Click the star button to access your starred posts and posts shared by users you follow.
Click the bullet button to access all unread posts.
Click the list button to access all items in your subscriptions, your notes, items you’ve shared, and once again items from users you follow.
You can also mark all posts in a folder or subscription as read from the button at the bottom of the page, as well as search your subscriptions for specific keywords.
When reading posts in most RSS readers, and in Google Reader itself, any efforts for design or appearance go out the window. Reeder’s added feature of being able to see a post in your subscription in its original state, using the app’s native browser is definitely a plus. That said, the method is slightly clunky, as you have select view with Instapaper Mobilizer or Google Mobilizer first, after which you can select to see the original post.
Another great feature that Reeder brings to the table, in addition to Google Reader’s standard keyboard shortcuts making it easy to navigate back and forth between articles, is the use of trackpad gestures. You can swipe down to go to the next article, swipe up for the previous article, and swipe right to left to collapse the menu on the left hand side. The gestures can also be adjusted to suit your personal preferences.
Reeder is still very much in beta and there are many more features that are still to come including feed management. For the time being you can’t subscribe or unsubscribe to feeds through Reeder. This isn’t an incredibly huge disadvantage however since the app can sync in real time with your Google Reader account, so if you use another app on the go on your smartphone or tablet, Reeder will sync right into the experience since it stays up to date with your Google Reader account. iOS users can also have a seamless experience if they use the iPad [iTunes link] or iPhone [iTunes link] version of the application, which are $2.99 and $4.99 respectively.
How do you keep up with your RSS feeds? Do you just use Google Reader in your browser, or do you have a preferred desktop app? Let us know in the comments.