Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

‘River of News’-Style RSS Reader and Reeder 4 Beta

“Exciting developments on the RSS front” is not a phrase you can use every day; but, today is an apt day to use it. Rob Fahrni announced that he’s working on a new app that aims to deliver RSS updates as a constant stream, like a Twitter app. I like the simplicity of this and, with the right discovery options, it could be a great introduction for those who use social media for news and would prefer a reverse-chronological feed.

Also released today was the first public beta of Reeder 4 for MacOS. Reeder has always been one of the best RSS clients around and, in the first day I’ve spent with the fourth major version, I’ve found it to be just as well-designed and thoughtfully considered as its predecessors but with some excellent new features.

Without creepy user targeting or algorithmic manipulation, website feed readers may be relatively quaint, technologically, but they put users in control of their reading experience. I think the hardest question for RSS readers is how it could gain broader interest outside of the more technically sophisticated user group. As I wrote earlier this year, website feeds need to be surfaced in an obvious and easily understood way. I’m not sure what that looks like. Maybe feeds just need a new brand.