September 12, 2015

Images in the RSS article list

A feature of RSS readers on the Mac is the treatment of images in the article list. I was a heavy user of NetNewsWire 3 for years an did not care to have images in the article list. Some, more modern readers, such as Reeder and ReadKit, do not attempt to present more than text in the article list. However, several readers are presenting images and the reading experience is better, in my opinion, since there are some feeds I follow that are image-rich (Leibel, etc). I looked at the options in the App Store and did some web searching and what follows is a round-up as of today.

Leaf

Images presented as round or square. Light or dark mode, syncs with several services, share to Pocket, Readability, Instapaper, Twitter, others. $8. I just redownloaded this in the App Store recently and was surprised at the quality development. Key commands appear reasonable. Looks nice - I will be trying it more in the future.
Leaf

Feedly

I run Feedly in a Fluid instance. It is graphics rich, if desired, with more than one mode. Folders can have individual view settings so more graphics-rich feeds can be grouped together. I would prefer to use a native Mac app but the Fluid instance in all white theme is compelling. Has ”Shift-m”″ as a single key-command for mark all as read and move to next unread” which promotes rapid processing of feeds. Free.
Feedly
Feedly2

NetNewsWire 4

Includes an image preview that is not centered on the image. Really, it just serves to alert to the presence of an image. Recently emerged from beta, has own sync service (but servers not pulling in feeds - only syncing between the Mac and iOS versions), shares to Instapaper, Twitter (not Pocket). $10. Syncs to NetnewsWire for iOS.
NNW4

Pulp

Graphics rich with several modes, most like a newspaper, no sync, no OPML import, not actively developed but still runs on Yosemite. Pretty good key commands. $10. Someone please start development again!
pulp1

pulp2

pulp3

iRSS

Round images that are sometimes cropped on top and bottom. Share to Twitter, Pocket, Instapaper, MarsEdit, others. Syncs to seven services (Feedly, NewsBlur, etc), $6. (Disclosure: have not used).

Breaking

Off-center image similar to NetNewsWire 4. Presents news in the Today View, $5, does not appear to sync. (Disclosure: have not used).

Aktuell

A centered, small, rectangular image. Feedly sync, share with Pocket, Readability, Instapaper, Twitter. $10. (Disclosure: have not used).

Finish

In an RSS reader, I would like to have customization of image size and shape per feed in the article list. I used Pulp for a while but missed sync and abandoned it. I often use the white-themed Fluid instance of Feedly but really want a true Mac app. NetNewsWire 4 debuted recently but disappoints in several ways including the off-center images, a key-command set that is awkward for fast reading (command-k, commank-/), and the prolonged time spent waiting for feeds to update. I have not tried iRSS, Breaking, and Aktuell but might try Aktuell at some point sice it is the only one of the three that syncs. Leaf was the pleasant surprise while researching RSS readers recently. I had not looked at it for a year or more and it has become much more mature and advanced. I’ll try it for the near future.

  • rss
  • mac
  • apps

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