First Look: Reeder leaps from the iPad to the Mac

After a long and winding path that has seen stops at both the iPhone and the iPad, developer Silvio Rizzi has finally released his newsreader app on Apple's longest running platform, in the form of the aptly named .

I've been a fan of Reeder since its iOS days--I even once penned to . On Apple's mobile devices, Reeder embraced the conceits of the touch-based operating system: You tap through your folders, tap through sources, and tap through articles. Tapping and holding on links revealed sharing options, and you could even swipe articles to mark them as unread or favorites.

So, how does Reeder--born and raised in the world of Apple's mobile operating system--survive its leap to the Mac? Pretty well, actually. On the desktop, I'm a longtime NetNewsWire aficionado; switching to another desktop client would be, in technical terms, a big honking deal for me. However, in many ways Reeder is an entirely different beast.

In order to use Reeder, you'll need a free Google Reader account. Because of Reeder's reliance on Google Reader, you can use other compatible apps (including NetNewsWire, Reeder's iOS variants, and of course ) to keep your articles in sync.

Reeder on the desktop looks a lot like its iPad counterpart. In fact, the app offers two broad theme settings: a more traditional Mac look, or a sepia-toned spin that more closely emulates the iOS versions. Obviously, you can't rely on tapping on the Mac, but the app offers excellent keyboard support. I depend upon the arrow keys in NetNewsWire, and similar--though tweaked--keyboard shortcuts are available in Reeder.

Browsing and reading in Reeder is a unique experience on the desktop, because of how closely it hews to its iOS predecessors. Whereas NetNewsWire lets you open different articles in tabs, Reeder instead focuses on a one-at-a-time approach. In the default view, you see your sources (and folders) in the leftmost pane, headlines from individual folders (or sources) in the middle pane, and then post content in the rightmost pane. If you want to view an article on its native Web page, you can do so just by clicking its headline or pressing the right arrow. When you do, however, your entire view slides over: The two leftmost panes temporarily vanish, leaving just the headlines and the Web view.