GreatNews: My new default RSS reader

I’ve been through a few different RSS readers over the past couple of years but recently had settled on FeedReader. It’s free, does all the basics very well and didn’t have any glaringly obvious features missing. Today when I launched FeedReader it prompted me to download a new version which I dutifully did but while at the website downloading the new release I read a user’s comment saying that it wasn’t as good as GreatNews so I headed over to the developer’s site (CurioStudio) to check it out and was tempted by a couple of items on the featurelist:

It’s fast even with hundreds of feeds – I must admit that FeedReader takes a while to startup and shutdown and ocasionaly to move between feeds, not an age but long enough to notice.

It has stats, and I’m a sucker for stats! I can see my most/least read feeds and the most/least active (by number of posts).

It has a “newspaper style” reading view. This is the biggest draw for me because it’s much easier to find interesting articles by glancing at a page that is made up of several stories along with their title, content and images rather than by scanning down a list of story titles like the tradition email inbox view. Take engadget for example: I’ve noticed that I read a lot less of their content in FeedReader because the story titles don’t grab my attention, but in GreatNews I can glance at the page and see images of shiny new gadgets begging me to read more. Take a look a the two screenshots below from FeedReader and GreatNews to see what I mean (it’s also possible to create custom view styles using css).

GreatNews Newspaper Style View FeedReader main view

The other great thing about RSS readers (from a user’s point-of-view anyway) is that there’s a very low barrier to switching allegiance. I exported all my feeds as OPML from FeedReader and imported them into GreatNews in no time at all and all that I lost was the record of which feeds I had read and which had new unread content – I can easily live with that.

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