Reeder 4 is an incremental upgrade to the best RSS reading app ever

Reeder is the best RSS reading app for Mac and iOS devices and with version 4, it has received support for iCloud sync, read later, Mojave compatible dark mode, iPad Pro support, new automatic layouts and much more. Despite all the new features, Reeder 4 is still a minor upgrade for Reeder 3 users. Read our review to find out whether you should upgrade or not.

I have been using Reeder ever since it was first released back in 2010. It has been my go-to RSS reading app on iOS and Mac. Like others, I initially started using Reeder with Google Reader, and switched to Feedly after Google killed Reader. Even though many people seem to have moved to social networks like Twitter to get their daily dose of news updates, I still stick to RSS feeds for my preferred news sources. I doubt that my habit would be changing anytime soon. Social media is just too messy to read the news that you want.

Reeder 4

What’s new in Reeder 4?

In a nutshell, Reeder 4 brings the following new features to the table, for iOS and macOS:

  • A new Bionic Reading mode
  • A read later service that syncs using iCloud
  • Image previews in article lists
  • Improved article viewer and reader
  • Search
  • New layout options, including automatic adjustments
  • Support for macOS Mojave’s dark mode
  • Redesigned preferences section
  • A nicer share menu
  • Sync support for 9 services

Another feature, not part of the above list, is that Reeder on iOS and macOS share the same code base now. This means that they have the same features and should make it easy for the developer to work on future updates and fixes.

Here’s a look at some of these new features.

Bionic Reading

According to the Bionic Reading website:

With Bionic Reading you read texts with more focus, awareness, and sustainability. 

Enabling Bionic Reading emboldens the first few characters of each word, creating ‘artificial fixation points’. This allows the reader to focus on just the highlighted characters, while their brain completes the rest of the word. There are extensions available for Chrome and Firefox which can apply this to any text on any website.

Within Reeder 4, you can enable this feature too but whether it is someone’s preferred method of reading is up to the individual.

Layouts

The layouts now adjust automatically based on your window size and view. So you can view just a list of articles and when you can click them, the layout will expand to show the article details. This is one of the most useful features in this update but it can be disabled from settings.

Read later

Reeder 4 now has its own read later feature which lets users add articles to a list. This read later list syncs between Mac and iOS devices using iCloud. If you are already using iOS and Mac and not using Safari’s own Reading List, you can rely on this service. Alternatively, you can also use Instapaper.

Personally, I love to use Pocket as its cross platform and just works wonderfully. If you have the Pocket app installed on your Mac and iOS devices, you can just use the share menu to save an article to your Pocket, which is something I do on a daily basis.

I’m not sure if many users would use Reeder’s own read later feature since it is locked down within the app. You would have to use Reeder everytime you want to get back to your list of articles which means that you’re locked out if you are somehow on a platform that is not supposed by Reeder.

Dark Mode

The new dark mode on Mac now works with Mojave. However, this also means that the theme has changed slightly, which might not be your cup of tea. You can still make the dark theme look like the one from Reeder 3 though.

Issues

Not everything is good with Reeder 4 though. The new layouts don’t always work that well. There are also bugs being reported with the app, which are enough to ruin the experience that you’ve come to expect from Reeder.

Users have also reported some missing features. With the new update, you can’t select fonts for articles. ‘Group by feed sort’ option is also missing in this update. The developer is working on bringing these features back in future updates.

Conclusion

Does Reeder 4 justify its price tag of $9.99 for Mac and $4.99 for iOS? Unfortunately, despite my love for the app, my answer is no. I’m really happy with Reeder 3 and the only feature that attracts me to version 4 is support for Mojave’s dark mode switch. Other than that, the old app still works well for me and there aren’t any enticing features that would push me to upgrade as long as v3 continues to work fine.

With all the bugs and missing features, you might want to wait for some updates to version 4, before dropping money for the upgrades.

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