On my iPhone, I’ve been using Reeder for a couple of years, firstly as a client for Google Reader, and later Feedly when Google killed Reader off (and no, I still haven’t forgiven Google for that). I’m still using Byline on my iPad, but that’s because the latest version of Reeder won’t work on iOS 5.
On my Mac, I used the desktop version of Reeder for a while, but as it only ever supported Google Reader, it’s been useless since the end of June last year when Google pulled the plug. I’ve been using the web version of Feedly in the meantime. Anyway, a few weeks ago, the first beta of Reeder 2 landed, and a second beta came out last week.
In terms of platform support, Reeder 2 on Mac now matches Reeder 2 on iOS, which I reviewed in September. This means that you can add accounts from Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler and Fever, as well as Readability which is more of a ‘read later’ service like Pocket rather than a feed reader. Reeder 2 can also run as a standalone feed reader – i.e. not linked to an online service for synchronising unread articles.
One of the reasons why I like using Reeder, rather than Feedly’s web client, is that you can toggle the Readability view on articles from partial text feeds like BBC News. That way, you can read the article without having to open the web site in a new window, and without the adverts or any other distractions. This was missing in beta 1, but has been added to beta 2 and works well. There are also plenty of keyboard shortcuts to navigate feed items much quicker.
It’s very much worth pointing out that Reeder 2 is definitely a ‘beta’ product. This means that there are a lot of features missing – most of its sharing features aren’t there yet. It also means that it’s free, but the builds will expire after a time and it’s very likely that the new version will cost money. Reeder 2 on iOS was a whole new product, so I assume that Reeder 2 will not be a free upgrade for existing users. Which is fair I suppose, as it’s taken a long time to get this far and is basically a complete re-write of the old version.
I’m looking forward to the final version of Reeder coming out when it’s ready. It’s a lovely app with nice animations that makes reading feeds quick and pleasurable. In the meantime, you can try out the beta for free and report any bugs that you find.