RSS feeds are a great way to get all of the information you need. Most people still like to routinely visit their favorite websites and read interesting articles. A good RSS reader can save you a lot of time and effort, and most importantly, it instantly brings new information and links to articles of interest. The truth is that most RSS readers are confusing, badly designed and they tend to overflow with information. This is why most people still think this technology as outdated, and perhaps unnecessary.
I have to admit, I was one of those people who resisted to any kind of subscribing to news, even by e-mail. However first, I became interested in those offline readers which download selected articles so you can read them later, and somehow during that process I became aware that the newest generation of RSS readers are more capable than before, and that they removed some mistakes and annoyances that I found troubling in the past.
Leaf is an interesting RSS reader, which could be purchased through Mac App Store for $3.99. I’ve heard about this little application, and read some positive criticism. Since I do need a new RSS reader, I decided to take it for a test.
Just like you can see from the screenshots, Leaf is a beautifully designed application, whose main focus is on a delivered content. It features strikingly red top bar, which is it’s identity I guess. Some people may find it over-the-top, but I personally like it. In this top bar you can see a button with a star, and a search bar. Both of these are created to help you sort out numerous feeds and find that one particular article.
The rest of Leaf’s window is dedicated to a list of downloaded feeds. It seems that developers and graphic designers took some time to redesign traditional RSS feeds list. Focus is on the title, and you can also see its screenshot in a circle, on the left side. There’s also additional information, like when that particular feed was downloaded and from which source, but this info is faded and doesn’t distract you. Once you click on a feed, it will open a pop-up window, with text and pictures. This window is also nicely designed, and it resembles info boxes which could be found in OS X. As you can see, focus is primarily on text and articles, and all additional info is hidden or faded.
You can also find Preferences button in the bottom bar, but as you can expect from a minimalist application like this one, there are not many options you can set up. You can adjust refresh intervals, numbers of shown feeds, and similar.
At this point in time, Leaf seems like one of the most interesting RSS readers for OS X. It features minimalist design which focuses on content. Workflow is very fluid, and performance is excellent. As always, some advanced features would be welcomed, but at this point Leaf promises a lot.