Quickly check headlines from your Mac’s menubar. Fresh Feeds is a small Mac RSS reader for quickly skimming the latest news.
Sometimes you want to read every article, in order – and that’s what advanced RSS services like Feedly are for. Sometimes, however, you simply want to glance at headlines and possibly read a couple of articles, and Fresh Feed is perfect for that. It lives in the menu bar, so it’s always a click away. Even when open it doesn’t take up a lot of screen real estate. You can scroll through headlines, click anything that looks interesting and ignore everything else.
If you love RSS, but want a simple way to keep up, Fresh Feed might be right for you. Here’s how it works.
Occasional Headline Skimming
Click the Fresh Feeds icon and you’ll see a list of headlines:
Explore by scrolling, or by using the arrow keys. If a given story catches your attention you can click Preview to see more updates.
It’s not much of the article, but that’s part of the point: this app is primarily for giving you an easy way to skim read the news. Click the Go to web page link to read an entire article.
Not a fan of the included news sites? You can add as many RSS feeds as you like to this service in the Config:
Not sure where to find RSS feeds for your favorite site? Generally there will be a link somewhere on a page, but if not I suggest searching the name of your favorite site and the word “RSS” on Google. Check out your guide to RSS for more information on finding RSS feeds.
Get Fresh Feeds set up with a few feeds and you’ll see the appeal – it’s great for knowing what’s going on at-a-glance. It’s not the best tool for reading every article; again, it’s not trying to be. Look into a fully-fledged RSS reader if you want a complete reading experience.
Having said that, Fresh Feeds comes in two flavors: the free version, as seen above, and a $1.99 Pro version. The more advanced Pro version removes ads (which don’t seem to be working as of this writing) and adds a few features, such as Notification Center support for Mountain Lion users.
Other Extremely Simple Mac RSS Apps
The free version of Fresh Feeds does not offer Notifications, so if that’s all you’re interested you should look elsewhere. I recommend Monotony. This simple app delivers RSS headlines to the Notification Center, and does absolutely nothing else. Seriously.
But if you’re still attached the MenuBar concept, there are other apps to check out as well. Simon outlined 3 great menu bar apps to stay on top of your RSS feeds, one of which – Moka – is a precursor to Fresh Feed and not available in the US as of this writing.
But worth looking into, for anyone disappointed with Fresh Feeds, is Feeds. Previously $4.99 but now available for free, Feeds offers an even-more barebones menu:
It’s more efficient with screen space, works with Notification Center and supports more than RSS feeds.
If you want something even more stripped down, you could look into Newsbee. It shows headlines, and only headlines – click them to read the full article.
There’s no notification support, but some might see that as a feature.
Fresh Feed is from bloop, the developers behind Airmail, which is making email beautiful again, and Cappuccino, a slick Google Reader client for Mac that these days works about as well as Google Reader itself (i.e. not at all).
The free version of Fresh Feed is worth checking out if you need a way to monitor RSS feeds. If you like the app, and want Notification Center support, consider upgrading to Pro. There are other options out there for RSS integration in OS X, so be sure to work out whether Fresh Feed is right for you before doing that.
What do you think of Fresh Feed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.