The first thing I noticed, even before I downloaded it, was that it uses your existing Google Reader account to populate the app. This is huge for me. I’ve tried other desktop RSS readers, but that just doesn’t work for me. In a world where we’re jumping from computer to computer, things like this really need to sync to the cloud. The fact that I can add feeds from this application and see them on the web, and add feeds from the web and see them in this app is one of the things that really makes this so great.
I’m a fan of mac apps that look great. I think it’s one of the great advantages of owning a mac — there’s tons of great looking software that is also very functional. Reeder definitely lives up to that. Some people may not appreciate the style forced upon us without the ability to customize the main content, but I think they’ve done a great job with the design. As a designer and web publisher, I feel comfortable both using this as a reader and know this is what my content looks like in a desktop app.
The built in web browser is a nice addition, but I wish there was an option to have all links open in a real web browser. I think the main problem I’m having is the small window you get, so no web site actually fits in the frame. I find that even when I do click a link, I end up at the top of the frame to load the page in chrome.
I’d definitely recommend downloading this app now. Don’t let the Beta logo scare you away. Just know that it is in Beta and all the features aren’t 100% flushed out yet. I’ve noticed, for example, that the Add/Manage subscription links don’t work yet — big deal though. You’ve been going to google.com/reader to add new RSS feeds up till now, I think you can wait until that feature works. The first thing you need to do when it’s installed is to turn on automatic updates. I’ve gotten at least three updates since I first downloaded it less than a week ago.