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Reeder 2.2

Reeder 2.2 for iOS, out today on the App Store, fixes one of the major annoyances that I mentioned in my original review: lack of background app refresh on iOS 7. I find having content from feed readers or podcast clients ready when you launch an app is a great experience, and now Reeder can download articles in the background on a per-account basis (smart choice).

In the update, Silvio Rizzi also switched to new authentication methods for Pocket and Pinboard (nice), updated Messages sharing (much better now), and increased gesture support for navigation inside the app.

Reeder 2.2 is available on the App Store.


Reeder 2 for Mac Public Beta Now Available

Reeder 2 for Mac beta

Reeder 2 for Mac beta

Nine months after being pulled from the Mac App Store following the Google Reader shutdownReeder for Mac, Silvio Rizzi’s popular desktop RSS client, is back with a public beta that offers a glimpse at the app’s new service integrations, refreshed design, updated gesture navigation, and new features that will come in the final version.

During the beta stage, Reeder 2 for Mac will be free to download from Rizzi’s website.

The Reeder 2 beta builds on the design foundation of the old Reeder for Mac and the latest Reeder for iOS to offer a mix of new functionalities and tweaked layouts that should be familiar to both audiences. In July 2013, Rizzi pulled Reeder for Mac from the App Store due to the discontinuation of Google Reader (the RSS service that powered Reeder 1.0) as he couldn’t ship compatibility updates in time for Google’s deadline and preferred to jump directly to a 2.0 update that, however, is taking longer than expected. Originally announced for Autumn 2013, Reeder 2 for Mac still isn’t feature complete according to Rizzi, but he’s confident that the public beta should provide a solid preview of the changes he’s been working on while also serving as a way to gather feedback for what will become a paid app on the Mac App Store. Read more

Reeder 2 Review

Reeder 2

Reeder 2

Reeder had a rough transition to the post-Google Reader world. Following the shutdown of Google’s RSS reading service on July 1 (something that Google had announced in March), Reeder – one of the most popular, if not the most popular Google Reader client for iOS – received an update to add support for Feedly and Feed Wrangler on July 2, but developer Silvio Rizzi couldn’t ship updates to the iPad and Mac counterparts in time. For this reason, after making Reeder for iPad and Mac free downloads, Rizzi was forced to remove them from the App Store, promising that they would come back, eventually, with support for new RSS reading services.

A household name of the iOS third-party scene, I first reviewed Reeder 1.0 back in 2009 and followed the app’s evolution as Rizzi found himself developing a client used by hundreds of thousands of Google Reader users. Rizzi, an indepedent developer from Chur, Switzerland, has always maintained a fairly slow pace of updates and releases, taking his time to bring Reeder to the iPad (the app wasn’t ready on April 3, 2010) and to the Mac. After a lack of updates that endured seven months, Reeder for iPhone made a comeback last year with Reeder 3.0, which started moving away from Google Reader – possibly prescient of disruptive changes coming to the service – with support for Shaun Inman’s Fever. And yet, after version 3.0 hit the App Store, Reeder went silent again, leaving many wondering as to whether it would ever see substantial updates again.

Reeder 2, released today at $4.99 on the App Store, is a new app that aims at making Reeder ready for the new era of RSS readers but that, at the same time, keeps one foot in the past with familiar interface choices and functionalities. Read more

Reeder 3.2 Brings Feedly, Feed Wrangler Sync

As announced last month, an update to RSS client Reeder for iPhone has been released today on the App Store, adding support for Feedly and Feed Wrangler. Arriving just in time for Google’s shutdown of Reader, the latest Reeder update for iPhone brings the app’s supported sync services to four (previously added Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, and Fever) and removes Google Reader from the “Add Account” screen (existing accounts won’t be deleted from the app).

Feedly and Feed Wrangler integration in Reeder is solid, but it lacks some features. While I have been generally happy with Reeder’s speed in syncing with Feedly and Feed Wrangler, the app lacks support for Smart Streams – a key functionality of Feed Wrangler that’s already supported by clients like ReadKit and Mr. Reader. To access Smart Streams on the iPhone, my recommendation still goes to Feed Wrangler’s official app, which may not be as polished as Reeder, but that works perfectly with the service’s Smart Streams.

Reeder, a longtime MacStories favorite, is moving into the post-Reader era with an iPhone update that should work for most people and major iPad and OS X updates on the horizon. Developer Silvio Rizzi hasn’t provided a release date yet, but he announced the iPad version will be a completely redesigned app. Due to the lack of compatibility updates, both Reeder for iPad and Reeder for Mac have been removed from the App Store.

Reeder To Add Support For Feedly and Feed Wrangler

Soon after Google announced they would shut down their RSS platform Reader this July, Feedly confirmed they would build an API clone – codenamed Normandy – to ease the transition from Reader to Feedly for users and third-party developers. Essentially, this meant Feedly had been working on its own RSS syncing service with support for third-party clients to complement its own set of native apps.

In a blog post published today, Feedly has announced that they have been working with developer partners over the past two months to ensure the feedly API, based on the Normandy project, could launch with an ecosystem of native third-party apps. And among the apps that will support Feedly before July 1 (when Google will shut down Reader) there’s Silvio Rizzi’s Reeder, one of my favorite RSS apps for the iPhone and iPad.

We are also hearing from users that saving their feeds is not enough: One of the key features of Google Reader was that they had an ecosystem of apps – apps that people love and depend upon.

We have been working behind the curtains with the developers of Reeder,Press, Nextgen Reader, Newsify and gReader as design partners for our Normandy project. Today we are excited to announce that you will be able to access your feedly from all these apps before Google Reader retires and that the access to feedly API will be free. More details soon.

I have reached out to Rizzi, who confirmed Feedly support will indeed be added to the next versions of Reeder. His client, which was updated last April on the iPhone to support Feedbin sync and local RSS feeds, will also be updated for Feedly integration. While a precise release timeframe isn’t clear yet, it’s safe to assume Feedly integration will first come to the iPhone and then to Reeder for Mac and iPad (Rizzi made Reeder for iPad and Mac free while he’s working on a major 2.0 update).

Rizzi also told me that Reeder will support Feed Wrangler, David Smith’s RSS service that launched in late April. In my review of Feed Wrangler, I noted:

In the next “few weeks”, an official API will be released to let third-party developers create Feed Wrangler clients, and I think that will be a key aspect for scaling the service’s adoption rate to accommodate different kinds of users and applications. While the platform is solid and reliable, it lacks the beautiful interface polish of Google Reader apps like Reeder, or the power-user functionality of Mr. Reader’s services menu. The official website and apps should serve as an example of what Feed Wrangler can do, but it’ll be up to third-party clients to prove Feed Wrangler’s flexibility.

Again, as with Feedly integration, Rizzi can’t provide a specific release date today. Feed Wrangler, which has become my favorite Google Reader replacement, comes with a series of unique implementations of the decade-old concept of syncing and reading feeds, and it’ll be interesting to see how Reeder will take advantage of it in its custom interface.

Today, another popular RSS app for iPad – Mr. Reader – confirmed that it will add support for Feed Wrangler (alongside Feedbin and Fever) in a future 2.0 update.

Reeder for iPhone Gets Feedbin Sync, Local RSS Support

Announced soon after Google’s announcement of the Reader shutdown, popular iPhone RSS client Reeder has been updated today to include support for local RSS subscriptions and Feedbin sync.

In the first major update since June 2012 (when version 3.0 came out), developer Silvio Rizzi has decided to further move away from Google Reader for traditional RSS sync: while version 3.0 saw the addition of Shaun Inman’s Fever, Feedbin is more similar to Google Reader in the way it organizes feeds in groups and lets you view All, Unread, and Starred items. Unlike Google Reader, Feedbin is a paid service that costs $2 per month.

In Reeder 3.1, Feedbin is treated like Google Reader in terms of feed navigation and reading experience; in the Settings > Add Account screen you’ll see a new Feedbin option (at the top of the “News Reading” list) where you can log into your account and start syncing feeds with Reeder. Feedbin is still in its infancy, and, right now, Reeder 3.1 with Feedbin sync works exactly like version 3.0 did with Google Reader.

Reeder 3.1 also adds support for local RSS subscriptions, which won’t sync with any web service or other device running Reeder. Supporting local RSS feeds is anachronistic, but probably the right thing to do to ensure Reeder can keep working in case more RSS services will announce a shutdown in the future. Local RSS support allows you to add subscriptions manually by URL or import them from Google Reader; again, once configured, the reading experience will be the same as previous versions of Reeder 3.x.

Alongside Feedbin and local RSS, Reeder 3.1 also comes with a custom version of pull-to-refresh that’s delightfully in line with the app’s existing graphics and animations.

While Rizzi is busy working on Reeder 2.0 for iPad and Mac, it’s good to see the iPhone app – currently the #16 top paid News app – receiving support for a syncing service that’s starting to gain traction among developers. As Google Reader’s demise nears, it’ll be interesting to see if Rizzi will keep adding new services, and, if so, how long it’ll take for Reeder to be updated again.

Reeder 3.1 is available now on the App Store.

Reeder 3.0 Review

In 2009, reading news on the iPhone was different. The App Store was only one year old; Twitter wasn’t the information network adopted by mass media and millions of users we interact with today; there was no iPad, no universal apps, and no Flipboard. In 2009, reading news on an iPhone meant having to choose between few decent Google Reader clients, some Twitter apps, and lots of “mobile optimized” web apps.

Then in late 2009, Reeder came around. Created by Swiss developer Silvio Rizzi, I remember writing one of the first public reviews of Reeder for iPhone, which unlike the majority of contestants in the space at the time, sported a highly custom “sepia” interface that would later went on to define Reeder as a brand. Crafted with care and an eye for speed, Reeder not only stood out because it was beautiful to look at – the app was fast, visibly more responsive than Byline and NetNewsWire, easy to navigate in spite of its new UI paradigms, and focused on letting the user easily share links on other networks and services. Reeder 1.0 wasn’t perfect; version 2.0, released a few months later, fixed some glaring omissions of its predecessor (namely, lack of saved state), and introduced an even faster syncing engine and more link sharing options.

Reeder took off. The success of the iPhone app allowed Rizzi to become one of the most well-known names in the indie iOS developer community, redefining iPad RSS readers with a brand new version of Reeder, and then again capturing a large portion of the OS X market with the highly-anticipated Reeder for Mac.

In spite of its obvious merits, it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason behind Reeder’s rise to the top of Google Reader clients. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Google Reader apps on Apple’s App Store now. Rizzi isn’t the “fastest” developer around (Reeder for iPhone was last updated in November 2011), and many valid RSS clients have been released in the past two years, some of them combining traditional RSS functionalities with deeper social integration to offer more compelling, modern alternatives to standard Google Reader syncing and browsing. Yet Reeder has managed to maintain its top position as the go-to Google Reader client for millions of iPhone users.

That’s not to say, however, that Reeder’s constant success and popularity don’t have to account for the profound change in news reading habits that occurred in the past two years. Sometime around 2010 – and I tend to associate this shift with the release of the iPad – a new breed of apps begin grazing the surface of established mobile news reading trends and conventions. Flipboard turned the world of RSS aggregators upside down with embedded discovery and direct integration with social feeds; Twitter clients got more capable, leveraging mobilizers and read-later services to provide a better experience with URLs; Zite brought automatic and intelligent curation to a platform based on RSS, while popular news organizations like CNN and NYTimes kept improving their own iOS apps.

In 2012, people don’t find their news exclusively through Google Reader anymore. That wasn’t true in 2009 either, but the growth of the App Store has certainly catalyzed the process: news travel fast, on a variety of channels, on multiple aggregators, in real-time and in multiple forms. We have become news gatherers.

Reeder 3.0, released today, holds true to its roots of a Google Reader client, but tries to modernize the overall approach and feature set with support for a new service, improved Readability syncing, more sharing options, and a refreshed look. In the first major rewrite of the app since 2010, is Reeder still relevant? Read more

The MacStories Productivity Giveaway

The great thing about working at MacStories is we get exposed to a ton of brilliant applications that solidify our workflows and give us different perspectives on how to get things done. All of us have various tools that work for us, and just as we like to share our findings we occasionally tussle over our tools of choice. Any of us could get by with just the basics, but the Mac is made so much better when you come to appreciate and enjoy all the great software that’s available to us. The four of us working at MacStories put our heads together and picked out five of our favorite applications to share with you guys in hopes of loading up your summer Macs with a great selection of productive software. As you can see in the banner, we have a great lineup we’d love to share with you.

Reeder for the Mac (Up to 5 winners): Certainly we have the occasional NNW vs. Reeder clash behind the scenes, but all of us agree that Reeder is something really special for the Mac. It takes your RSS feeds and puts them in a beautiful interface that can be as minimal or expanded as you need it to be, and it works fluidly with gestures on newer Macs. My favorite feature: Readability works extremely well with linked posts, formatting the original article for Reeder without distracting web nonsense. If you love it for the iPad and iPhone, Reeder for Mac is a must have.

Notefile for iOS (Up to 3 winners): When it comes down to it, we just want an easy way to sync notes, reminders, and to-do lists between our Macs and iOS devices. Dropbox is nice, but it’s not as automatic as Junecloud’s Notefile. You’d think it already had iCloud support, pulling down your most recent notes from the Dashboard widget or onto your iPhone. We think this is a great replacement for Apple’s Notes, and we absolutely love how simple Notefile is in its entirety.

Alfred Powerpack for Mac (Up to 3 winners): Alfred is really fantastic for Mac users who want to take it to the next level. If you’re looking for an edge in productivity, Alfred is a swiss-army knife that’ll launch documents, recall snippets from the clipboard, and call on apps with a few simple keystrokes. Search Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, and the IMDb right from your desktop. Alfred is free to download, but the Powerpack adds file system navigation, clipboard history, terminal control, an iTunes remote, and email integration to the already powerful launcher.

Fantastical for Mac (Up to 5 winners): Fantastical is the iCal companion that makes it easy to manage your schedule of meetings, client reviews, and other events through plain english. If you wanted to meet me at Brian’s Bar and Grill at four o’clock on Saturday, you could totally just type that in… and it’d just work. Fantastical is amazing.

Courier for Mac (Up to 5 winners): Productivity doesn’t always have to extend into the workplace. We’re always looking for better ways to get files online, and Courier for the Mac allows us to do just that. Simply drag and drop pictures and movies to upload them to your personal accounts such as Facebook and Flickr — web interfaces are a thing of the past.

We’re giving out a total of twenty one apps to twenty one lucky winners, and we want to thank all of the developers for hooking us up and helping us give you guys some great software. For your chance to win one of these great apps, you’ll need to check out the giveaway rules past the break!

Read more

Reeder for Mac: Now Available On The Mac App Store

Over the past eight months, I’ve been following very closely the development of Reeder for Mac, a port of the popular Google Reader client for iOS to the OS X platform. As I was one of the first people to try the original Reeder for iPhone back in 2009, I immediately accepted Silvio Rizzi’s invite to join the beta testing group of Reeder for Mac in September 2010. Lots of things have changed since then. Sure, I never stopped using Reeder for Mac as my default desktop client, but there’s no doubt the app has gone through so many interface changes, design overhauls and feature additions I had to re-calibrate my workflow every time the developer updated something. That’s what you get by beta-testing things, but the evolution of Reeder for Mac was different: from our exclusive preview, to the first public beta and the one we reviewed last month, you can see how the app turned into something completely different from the experience I initially fell in love with. And that’s a good thing – the last full rewrite made Reeder for Mac insanely fast on Snow Leopard and ready to go on Lion. But enough with the beta talk. Read more